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Fine follows welder's fall from height

An engineering company has been fined a total of £20,000, including costs, following an employee’s fall in November 2013.

Swansea Magistrates’ Court heard on 13 February that Philip Roberts, from Burry Port, South Wales, had been working as a welder on a project to build a gasholder at the Tata Steelworks in Port Talbot.

This involved working at height from staging erected around the tank, from which he sustained numerous injuries from falling two metres.

His fall was because a colleague had removed planks from the staging, which was described as “accepted practice” by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

However, his employer, Motherwell Bridge, of West Drayton, Middlesex, was found to be at fault by not having suitable plans in place for working at height and failing to supervise the work correctly.

The HSE further stated that the company had been working to procedures that were almost 20 years old that failed to recognise updated safety regulations.

Mr Roberts spent nine weeks on crutches following the incident and has not been able to return to his role as a welder.

After pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, Motherwell Bridge was fined £16,000, with costs of £4,000.