Lack of risk assessment results in company fines


Two companies, Ortec BV and Mechantech, have been fined after a worker suffered serious head injuries after falling from a warehouse racking system.

Liverpool Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 1 February 2016, recommissioning work of a warehouse racking system was being carried out at premises on Stopgate Lane, Simonswood, Merseyside. While working on the project, a worker fell 10m from the top of the racking system onto the concrete floor.

An HSE investigation found there was no safe system of work in place as none of the workers had safety harnesses and there were no physical barriers to prevent anyone from falling. Also, Mechantech had not undertaken any risk assessment for working at height, incorrectly assuming that main contractor Ortec BV had done so.

Ortec BV of Zoetermeer in the Netherlands pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £300,000. Mechantech of Rossington, Doncaster, pleaded guilty to a similar offence and was fined £36,666.