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Futon firm prosecuted after worker falls through fragile roof light

19-03-2012

A Tottenham Hale futon manufacturer has been prosecuted after a worker fell through a fragile rooflight during poorly-managed maintenance work.

The Futon Limited employee fractured his spinal column and suffered a collapsed lung as a result of the fall at the company’s Cannon Factory, on Ashley Road, on 9 October 2009.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard that the employee accessed the factory roof to clear leaves from a roof valley using a man-riding cage mounted on a forklift truck.

He had only moved a couple of feet from the edge of the roof when he stepped onto a plastic roof light that gave way. He fell approximately 6.5 metres to the warehouse floor after hitting fluorescent roof lighting on the way down.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that Futon Limited had an approved contractor to carry out work at height of this nature, but the company neglected to use them on this occasion.

Using a non-integrated working platform attached to a forklift was a significant failing according to evidence presented by HSE, because it is a platform to work from rather than a platform for accessing other places at height.

Futon Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 in relation to the incident. The company was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £14,635 in costs.

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