The firm pleaded guilty to breaching regulations 4(1) and 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, for failing to ensure cleaning work was properly planned and supervised and for failing to take measures to prevent a fall.
The accident occurred on 7 October 2007, when a temporary industrial cleaner working for Carillion's FM business at the E.ON UK power station was asked to clean ducting that supplied air to the boilers. Two ducts were separated by a gap, but neither duct had edge protection and there was a drop of six-and-a-half metres to the grating below.ADVERTISEMENT
The cleaner was provided with a harness and given instructions, but was not provided with any training on how to use it. The harness is designed to halt someone mid-fall, so it only reduces the potential for injury rather than preventing the fall altogether.
The cleaner unclipped himself from the girder the harness was secured to, but then fell between the gap. He suffered a broken femur, 11 broken ribs, a bruised lung and two cuts to his head which required stitches. He has been unable to return to work.
HSE inspector Sian Tiernan said: "Every month over a thousand people suffer serious injuries as a result of slips, trips or falls in the workplace. These shattering injuries can be avoided by sensible and proportionate management of the risks, but sadly that was not done in this case and that lack of action has resulted in a man being unable to work."
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