Window and door company fined after worker's death
Health & Safety update 15/03/2012
East London window and door manufacturer, M M Contracting Ltd,
is facing a £35,000 pay out after safety failings led to the death
of a worker in front of his own son.
Polish national, Andrzej Rokita, sustained fatal head injuries
when a number of wooden panels that had been stacked upright
against a wall fell on him. The 55-year-old had been attempting to
help his son, also an employee of the firm, to remove one of the
panels from the middle of the stack.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into the
incident found that the business did not have a sufficient system
in place to manage the removal and storage of the boards. HSE
inspector, Kevin Smith, called the upright storage of the boards a
“death waiting to happen”.
“Incidents such as this are still a common occurrence in the
industry despite the existence of guidance from the HSE offering
simple, inexpensive solutions for stacking wood safely,” he
explained, speaking after the company was sentenced at Southwark
Crown Court, after previously pleading guilty to breaching section
2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
He added, "As a direct result of the company's failure to
provide safe storage for their everyday materials, a father and
husband has lost his life. There is no excuse for employers not
ensuring that wood on their premises is properly stored, posing the
most minimal risk to their staff."
M M Contracting Ltd, of Bedford Road, London E17 4PX was fined
£26,000 and ordered to pay £9,000 in costs.
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