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Firm fined after worker fractures ankle

The owners of a Holmfirth business park have been fined after a local worker fractured an ankle in a fall from a ladder while carrying out work in disused premises nearby.

The 68-year-old maintenance worker, who did not wish to be named, had been asked by Bridge Mills to remove several heat exchange units from the roof space in a former machine shop in Huddersfield Road.

Bridge Mills, which owns and manages the Bridge Mill site in Huddersfield Road, Holmfirth, was prosecuted at Kirklees Magistrates’ Court after an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive.

The company was fined £7,000 and ordered to pay £1,355 in costs after admitting breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Jackie Ferguson said: “The worker was fortunate not to have suffered a far more serious injury – it doesn’t take a fall from a great height to inflict a life-changing injury or even death.

“The fact that he saw the ladder slipping allowed him to mitigate the potential consequences.

“There were several safe methods open to Bridge Mills Ltd for the removal of the heat exchange units, including working from an integrated working platform.

“Instead, the health and safety of workers was treated in a vague and haphazard manner.

“Falls from height remain the biggest cause of workplace deaths and one of the main causes of injury. 

“Working at height without the right equipment, training or systems is wholly unacceptable and extremely dangerous, and HSE will not hesitate to prosecute when companies put their workers lives at such risk.”

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