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£700,000 fine follows death of contractor

11 April 2017

A substantial fine and costs have been handed down to Whirlpool UK Appliances following the death of one of its contractors after falling from a mobile elevated work platform (MEWP).

Particularly relevant to the FM sector, the case further highlights the need for responsibility to be taken for the health and safety for all on-site personnel.

The incident occurred on 21 March 2015 when the self-employed contractor used the MEWP to begin installing revised fire detection equipment at the company's factory in Yate, near Bristol.

Whirlpool UK maintenance workers had then started an overhead conveyor, without knowing that the contractor was present.

When the overhead conveyor knocked the MEWP over, the contractor fell nearly five metres, landing on the factory floor and sustaining serious injuries, from which he later died.

A subsequent investigation carried out by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found there had been no process in place to inform workers that conflicting work tasks were being carried out.

Bristol Crown Court fined Whirlpool UK Appliances £700,000 with costs of £11,466 after it pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc, Act 1974.

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