A fresh warning that firms face injury compensation claims and fines if they fail to ensure safe working practices at height has been issued by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
The warning follows the prosecution of Veolia Environmental Services Birmingham (VESB) and its contractor Hansen Transmissions Limited (HTL) after a worker was injured in a ten-metre fall.
He suffered broken ribs, a punctured lung and a hernia after landing on a pallet of copper pipes while working to replace a gearbox within a condenser unit.
HTL was fined GBP 70,000 and VESB fined GBP 100,000 after both firms pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act.
Paul Smith, investigating inspector for the HSE, said the employee involved is lucky to be alive.
"The system used by HTL was plainly unsafe men, working ten metres and more up in the air, were manoeuvring bulky plant using inappropriate methods," he commented.
Northamptonshire animal feed company Dodson and Horrell was recently prosecuted after a worker fell six feet at its Ringshead premises.