Horrific injuries seen at aircraft seat manufacturer

July 7, 2023

Horrific injuries seen at aircraft seat manufacturer

From our colleagues at Barbour EHS.

A leading manufacturer of aircraft seats has been fined £660,000 after one of its employees suffered horrific injuries when he fell through a roof at a site in South Wales.

The manufacturer was carrying out work to vacate its premises in Llantarnam Industrial Park in Cwmbran when the incident happened on 19 May 2020.

The employee, who was 62 at the time, suffered multiple broken bones, including eight to his ribs, his collar bone, as well as a fractured skull. He had been dismantling and removing a spraying booth when he fell more than seven feet through its roof.

The employee was knocked unconscious as he hit the concrete floor and suffered a bleed on the brain.

The HSE’s investigation found inadequate planning of the work at height meant suitable equipment wasn’t used and insufficient instruction and training had been given to those carrying out the work.

In the five-year period between 2017 and 2022, 174 workers in Great Britain – a quarter of those killed in accidents at work – tragically fell to their death, according to the HSE.

The manufacturer pleaded guilty at Cwmbran Magistrates Court to breaching section 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and fined £660,000. They must also pay costs of £13,472.

HSE Inspector Seren Linton said: “Those in control of any work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working. They should also provide the necessary information, instruction, and training to their workers on the safe system of working.

“If these basic practices had been followed, this incident would have been entirely preventable.”

HSE
June 2023

Our Comment

Working at height accounts for 25% of workplace facilities and this accident proves again that if a robust risk assessment process had been followed, this would not have occurred. Employers should complete suitable and sufficient risk assessments which adhere to the hierarchy of control measures which have been long established.

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This content has been produced in association with our sister company, Barbour.

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