Worker fractures elbow after poor quality ladder collapses

Posted on 05/19/14 in News, No Comments

First Reported by the Health and Safety Executive on 6th February 2014:

A 48 year old worker was injured after the step ladder he was working on collapsed as he tried to reach upwards to a racking system above him. He fell to the floor below fracturing his arm, leaving him unable to work for several weeks.

A HSE investigation revealed that the ladder had been weakened by a crack that eventually caused it to collapse. The court heard that the poor quality ladder was one of two available to staff that had cracks.

The company was ordered to pay over £13,000.00 in fines and costs after it was found by the court that the ladder was not fit for purpose, and this the company had breached the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Monica Babb commented:

“Ladders are often seen as an everyday item that can be taken for granted. They are not routinely checked, which is vital when it comes to identifying potential defects

“Yet when they fail the consequences can be very serious. On this occasion a worker sustained a painful elbow injury, but it could have been much worse had he fallen from a greater height or landed in a different position

“[the company] should have implemented a more robust system for inspecting step ladders and providing replacements when defects were identified. Checking ladders is an essential aspect of safely managing work at height, and I hope today’s prosecution sends a clear message to others.”

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