Volvo Group UK has been fined £900,000 after an employee fell and suffered head injuries whilst repairing a truck cab at an Enfield, London site.
In September 2015 a man working for Volvo Truck and Bus Centre London was knocked unconscious after he fell from a step ladder and hit his head.
He was put into a medically-induced coma for two weeks to help manage the swelling on his brain. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said he suffered “life changing” injuries and has been unable to return to work since.
An HSE investigation found that the step ladder was damaged and its anti-slip feet were worn. The ladder was not Volvo property and had not been checked to see if it was suitable for use.
The HSE said that at the time of the incident the company had not trained its staff to select, inspect and use equipment suitable for working at height.
Volvo Group UK pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 30 November. It was fined £900,000 and must pay £5,820.28 in costs and a £150 victim surcharge.
The company said it expressed “deep regret” to the court for the failures which led to the incident and the impact it had on the employee and his family.
It said in a statement: “Since the incident occurred, all parts of the business have been challenged to review the use of ladders and step-ladders and implement procedures and training to ensure safe working practices are carried out, including the use of safe access equipment.
“The court was satisfied that arrangements had been and continued to be made to provide for the employee affected by the accident, by both the company and its insurers, and therefore the court made no order for compensation.
“Volvo Group UK received full credit from the court for its submission of an early guilty plea and the fact that the company had co-operated fully with the Health and Safety Executive.”