Engineering firm fined more than £48,000 after falling object hits worker

Engineering firm Halifax Rack and Screw Cutting has been fined over £48,000 after a worker was struck on the head and suffered temporary blindness and longer term vision problems.

The Brighouse-based firm was sentenced at Leeds Magistrates’ Court, which heard how, on 10 August 2016, the worker was hit by a heavy object falling from racking.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the employee was using an overhead travelling crane to move an item within the factory. The crane was positioned above an area of storage racking.

The crane’s “festoon” power cables displaced a heavy object located on the top level of the racking, which fell and struck him on the head.

Halifax Rack and Screw Cutting, which is based in Coronation Works, Armytage Road, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 10(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £48,024 with £2,051 costs.  

Sally Gay, HSE inspector, said: “Being struck by a falling object is a major cause of death and injury, which can be easily prevented by taking simple steps. This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices.”