Pauls Malt fined £100k for ladder fall

Pauls Malt fined £100k for ladder fall

Malting company Pauls Malt Ltd has been fined £100,000 for safety failings, after an agency worker plunged from a ladder.

Falling 2m, the worker suffered two fractures to his right foot and bruising to his chest and head injuries when he fell.

Scarborough Magistrates’ Court was told the accident took place at Pauls Malt Ltd’s West Knapton malting factory, near Malton on May 6 2015.

The worker, who asked to remain anonymous, was checking the level of malt in a container that he was loading for export, before closing the hopper feed.

Loading for export

The container was fitted with a full-size fabric liner with a loading flap, which would be zipped up after the container had been filled.

After the accident, an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed the firm had failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment of the work at height involved in closing the zipped flaps on the fabric liners.

The probe further revealed a system of work had developed which involved propping a 4m long ladder against the rear of the container to gain access to the zip-up flap. The ladder was too long for this purpose and was propped at too shallow an angle, according to the HSE.

Ladder slipped outwards

The accident happened when the ladder slipped outwards at the foot causing the agency worker to fall with the ladder onto the floor.

Pauls Malt Ltd, trading as Boortmalt, of Eastern Way, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,257.

Ladders should always be checked before use, advised the HSE. See more information in the box below.

More information on using ladders safely is available on the HSE website.


HSE advice on pre-use ladder checks

“Before starting a task, you should always carry out a ‘pre-use’ check to spot any obvious visual defects to make sure the ladder is safe to use.”

A pre-use check should be carried out:

■ by the user;

■ at the beginning of the working day;

■ after something has changed, such as after a ladder has been dropped or moved from a dirty area to a clean area (check the state or condition of the feet)

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