Energy company fined after worker suffers multiple injuries in fall

Energy business, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, has been  fined after an agency worker fell from a blade platform.

Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard that, on 11 November 2017, the 30-year-old was working inside one of the turbine blades at the company’s factory in Hull.

Inside the blade is a midway platform referred to as the “web”. He was standing on the web, vacuuming the inside of the blade to clean off fibreglass dust and deposits.

As he approached the edge of the web, towards the end of the turbine blade, he fell a distance of 1.8 meters, sustaining injuries including a broken collarbone, 10 broken ribs, a broken wrist and a punctured lung, meaning he was off work for two months.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy had provided a ladder to access to the web but they had not provided any fall protection either side of the ladder.

The company has provided edge protection following the incident and after risk assessing the task the company has identified a method whereby there is no need to work at height.

Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6 (3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and has been fined £533,334 and ordered to pay £16,274 in costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Denise Fotheringham said: “Falls from height often result in life-changing or fatal injuries.

“In most cases, these incidents are needless and could be prevented by properly planning the work to ensure that effective preventative and protective measures are in place such as edge protection or barriers built to the correct standard.

“This incident could have easily been prevented if the company had installed adequate edge protection to prevent falls.”

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