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Company fined after worker spotted on pallet raised by forklift truck

A company has been fined after shocked onlookers spotted an employee precariously working from height while standing on a pallet raised by a forklift truck at Ramsgate Harbour.


The Health and Safety Executive prosecuted European Active Projects Limited for breaching Work at Height Regulations after one of its workers was spotted on the pallet on 8 July 2022. The workplace regulator was alerted to the activity after it was reported by a member of the public, who managed to capture the terrifying debacle on video.


One of the workers was then witnessed climbing from the side of the vessel, beneath the guard rails, and onto the pallet with a heavy, motorised pressure washer. The pressure washer was then lowered to the ground.


The HSE investigation found EAP Limited had failed to plan the work at height associated with the refurbishments and repair work being completed on the boat, leaving workers at risk, with no safe method for removing equipment located on the vessel’s deck.


European Active Projects Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Section 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay £5,730.40 in costs at Maidstone Magistrates’ Court on 20 December 2023.


HSE inspector Samuel Brown said: “This incident demonstrates why there is a need to appropriately plan and supervise work at height. Clearly, lessons had not been learnt since the company’s previous prosecution in 2015."


One of the most common causes of fatal injuries continues to be falling from height. In many cases where a person falls from height, safe access has not been provided. All operations requiring work at height require risk assessment and proper management of risks.


For more information, or to book a training course, feel free to get in contact: 01782 438813 


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