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Measures Vital to Minimise Risks at Poultry Farms

by 5m Editor
16 November 2011, at 8:27am

UK - A Shropshire poultry farm has been fined after a worker fractured his pelvis when he fell nearly three metres from an unguarded platform.

The Health and Safety Executive prosecuted the farm following the incident outside a poultry house. Shrewsbury Magistrates' Court heard how a 36-year-old agency worker was walking on a temporary platform made from stacks of cages to move hens from the poultry house when he tripped.

He fell nearly three metres from the unprotected platform edge, fracturing his pelvis in two places and also suffering a collapsed lung.

The investigation into the incident found the farm had identified the risk of workers falling from the platform, but did not fit any edge protection or take any other measures to reduce the risk.

The farm pleaded guilty today to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £6,276 costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Janice Dale said: "Falling from height remains the most common cause of workplace deaths and those who survive are often seriously injured, as in this avoidable incident.

"The farm had identified the potential for workers to fall from the platform but failed to act on its own risk assessment. This dangerous system of work had been in place for around five years before the incident.

"Working at height on temporary platforms made from poultry cages is common practice in the agricultural industry. It's vital that proper measures are taken to minimise the risk of falling, such as fitting suitable guard rails and toeboards."