Potton meat firm must pay £110,000 after worker’s injury

Florea Savu, 42, of no fixed abode in Luton, has been jailed for 12 weeks.

Florea Savu, 42, of no fixed abode in Luton, has been jailed for 12 weeks. - Credit: Archant

A Potton meat production company must pay more than £110,000 over safety breaches after a worker was injured whilst adjusting storage racking.

Luton Crown Court heard how a York House (Meat Products) Ltd employee was instructed to adjust the height of shelves on storage racking with the assistance of co-workers.

To enable them to reposition the top shelves of the racking, the workers climbed up onto one of the lower crossbars – which gave way underneath them.

One of the workers fell, hitting his head on the racking before landing on the floor. The dislodged crossbar fell from a height of 3.2m, hitting the employee on the back of the head and shoulders.

The injured individual suffered soft tissue damage to his right shoulder and required physiotherapy for several months. He was also unable to work for two months.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive into the incident – which occurred on April 12, 2016 – found the company had failed to adequately manage the risks associated with working at height.

Employees were not aware of the dangers associated with climbing storage racking, and no safe system of work was in place.

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York House (Meat Products) Ltd, of Shannon Place in Potton, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

The company was fined £90,000 and ordered to pay costs of £20,567.88.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Emma Page said: “This incident could have been prevented had York House Meat Products provided a risk assessment or a safe system of work for the task in hand.

“Employees should be made aware of the risks associated with climbing storage racking.”