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Leicester firm prosecuted after worker's fall

A Leicester door-fitting firm has been fined after an employee was injured when he fell from a wooden crate fixed to a fork lift truck.

The 39 year-old man fractured his wrist, heel, ankle and elbow when he fell nearly five metres while fitting a roller shutter door at a farm in Lincoln.

He needed an operation on his heel and was unable to work for about three months after the incident on 2nd September 2011. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated and prosecuted his employer for failing to properly plan work at height.

The court heard that on arrival at the farm, the employee and his colleague tied a wooden potato crate to a forklift truck using a strap from their vehicle. The employee was then lifted five meters to install a motor on the potato store wall. As he turned to pick up tools, the crate tipped, he fell to the ground below and the crate fell on top of him.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Christopher Copeman said:

"The risk of serious injury was high and foreseeable. Using the wrong equipment to work at height can lead to falls and the likelihood of serious head or back injuries. These types of injuries can lead to construction workers being unable to work as well as causing a significant reduction in quality of life for the injured person.”

The latest figures show that 38 people died as a result of a fall in a workplace in Great Britain in 2010/11, and more than 4,000 suffered a major injury.

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