18 May 2010

Fishing boat firm fined following electrician's fall

A Scarborough fishing boat operator has been prosecuted after an electrician suffered serious injuries when he fell from a ladder while aboard the company's boat.

Contractor Philip Parcell, 53, from Newby, broke his back in three places, fractured his skull in two places and sustained nerve damage to the left side of his face after plummeting between decks of the Our Julia when it was moored in Scarborough harbour on 16 July last year.

Scarborough Magistrates heard that Cayton-based Our Julia Ltd, which owns the boat, failed to provide a suitable ladder for Mr Parcell to descend between decks as he fitted new bilge alarms. The court also heard that the company's managing director Nick Polihronos positioned the unsafe ladder.

Mr Parcell has been forced to give up work as an electrician as a result of the fall.

Our Julia Ltd, of Main Street, Cayton, pleaded guilty of breaching regulation 8(e) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined £7,000 and ordered to pay £2,028 costs.

After the hearing HSE inspector Paul Newton said:

"The injuries Mr Parcell sustained from his fall aboard Our Julia were horrific and they could have been prevented.

"Too many lives are shattered as a result of falls from height at work, and I hope today's prosecution serves to remind all employers that proper precautions must be taken at all times."

HSE Transcript Source: YH/158/10
(Reproduced under the terms of the Click-Use Licence)
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