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Chicken company fined after worker fractures back

14-11-2011

A Norfolk chicken processing firm has been fined after one of its employees fell from a ladder and broke his back.

Factory worker Peter Sherwood, 61, from Corton near Lowestoft, was carrying cladding boards up an unsecured ladder at Crown Chicken Ltd's factory in Weybread, Diss, when it slipped from under him and he fell about 2.5 metres to the concrete floor. He suffered broken vertebrae in his lower spine which meant he had to wear a back brace and was off work for six months. He has since returned to work but is only able to carry out light duties.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that on 24 July 2010 a supervisor at the Crown Chicken factory had allowed Mr Sherwood to help another employee in carrying out a maintenance task, but the work was not adequately planned and the company had not provided information to its staff on how to use ladders safely.

Crown Chicken Ltd admitted breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 at Lowestoft Magistrates' Court and was fined £3,500 and ordered to pay costs of £3,000.

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