Anglian Water Fine After Man Falls From Roof At Ely Pumping Station

PUBLISHED: 13:22 14 May 2010 | UPDATED: 13:33 02 June 2010

ANGLAN Water and a sub-contractor have been fined after a technician fell through the roof of a pumping station in Ely, fracturing a vertebra in his back. Technician Matthew Morgan, sub-contracted to Anglian Water Services, fell through an unmarked fragi

ANGLAN Water and a sub-contractor have been fined after a technician fell through the roof of a pumping station in Ely, fracturing a vertebra in his back.

Technician Matthew Morgan, sub-contracted to Anglian Water Services, fell through an unmarked fragile roof light while taking a reading from a rain gauge on top of a pumping station in Willingham, near Cambridge.

Mr Morgan, 28, of Wellington Grove, Pudsey, Leeds, West Yorkshire, suffered a fractured vertebra, cuts and bruising, and has had ongoing back pain since the fall on August 6, 2007.

His employer IETG Ltd, of Hapco House, Cross Green Way, Cross Green Industrial Estate, Leeds, appeared at Ely Magistrates' Court on Tuesday and admitted breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company failed to ensure the health and safety of those working near unmarked fragile skylights. Magistrates fined IETG £1,500 and ordered it to pay £3,219 in costs.

Anglian Water Services Ltd, which own and runs the pumping station, sub-contracts IETG Ltd to carry out specialist services on its behalf.

Anglian Water Services, of Anglian House, Ambury Road, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, admitted breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company failed to adequately identify the risks associated with working near the unmarked fragile skylights. It was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £3,261 in costs.

The company was also fined a further £12,000 with £6,286 in costs, after it admitted breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 in relation to a separate issue.

While investigating Mr Morgan's fall, Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors found problems with the safety of a number of machines at Anglian Water Service's sewage treatment plant in Angel Drove, Ely.

Some machines were missing safety guards, which protect workers from dangerous moving parts. And some interlocking devices, designed to isolate power from the machines, were not working properly meaning the machines could automatically start up when the guards were open.

HSE Inspector Penny Leede said: "Incidents like Mr Morgan's fall are entirely avoidable. Falling from height is one of the most obvious and well-known dangers for those working on roofs.

"Unfortunately, Mr Morgan is not alone. More than 4,000 British employees suffered serious injury after falling from height in 2008/09. Employers need to plan ahead and assess potential risks before carrying out any work at height.

"Proper safety guards and the isolation of power from exposed machinery play an important role in protecting workers from dangerous moving parts. HSE will continue to prosecute companies that fail to carry out their duties.

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