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Published on March 22nd, 2017 | by The GC Team

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Whirlpool UK fined for Health and Safety breach

Whirlpool UK Appliances has been fined after a self-employed contractor fell from a mobile elevated work platform (MEWP) and later died from his injuries.

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the contractor had been working at a height of nearly five metres installing revised fire detection equipment at the site of the former Indesit factory in Yate, near Bristol. At the same time, Whirlpool UK maintenance workers started an overhead conveyor, unaware that the contractor was working nearby. The movement caused the MEWP to tip over and the 66-year-old man fell to the factory floor. He later died from his injuries.

An HSE investigation found there was no effective control or supervision in place to prevent the conflicting work tasks from being undertaken at the same time.

Whirlpool UK Appliances pleaded guilty at Bristol Crown Court to breaching section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was fined £700,000 and ordered to pay costs of £11,466.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Matt Tyler said: “This is a tragic case where the incident could have been prevented if the company had planned and controlled the work properly.”

A spokesperson for Whirlpool commented: “First and foremost, we wish to reiterate our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr Dalley. The welfare of everyone working at Whirlpool is of the utmost importance to us and we are truly sorry that this tragic accident occurred. We have a very serious approach to safety compliance. Since then, we have thoroughly reviewed all our health and safety procedures at our production site in Yate to ensure that such an incident can never happen again.”

The incident took place during March 2015.

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