29 Oct 2018

Faulty ladder causes fall from height

The ladder used was previously found to have a fault but had no labelling on it to advise against use.

Westminster Magistrates' Court heard that Angelina Lawson suffered neck injuries in the accident while removing droppings from a shelf under the birds' perches.

Angelina was working at a height of 2.5 metres when the ladder gave way and she fell to the ground. The Zoological Society of London, the charity which runs the zoo in Regent's Park, appeared in court and admitted two breaches of the HSWA 1974. It was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay £8,000 in costs.

In delivering his sentence, District Judge Richard Blake said: "Ms Lawson had not received any training with regard to the use of ladders during her four years of employment. The lack of that training was a direct cause of the accident.

"As a result of this incident enquiries took place and this resulted in the prosecution before me. Ms Lawson had completed four aviaries using the ladder and was on the last one when the fall occurred.

"She attended hospital the next day for an x-ray which showed swelling of the soft tissue and also diagnosed with concussion which can last up to a month."

This story is a perfect example of the dangers of assuming that a equipment is safe. It highlights the importance of both pre-use checks and also the importance of tagging faulty equipment to clearly display a Do Not Use message if/when a fault is found. To find out more about the Good to Go Safety system which enables employees to do both of the above click here.

Story courtesy of: HSM

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