Case Study #5

Date of Offence
April 2016
Date of Hearing
March 2018
Breach of
Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
£90,000 + £20,567.88 costs


Details of Incident

The incident occurred when an employee was instructed to adjust the height of shelves on storage racking with the assistance of co-workers. To enable them to reposition the top shelves of the racking the workers climbed up onto one of the lower crossbars, which gave way underneath them.

One of the workers fell, hitting his head on the racking before landing on the floor. The dislodged crossbar fell from a height of 3.2m, hitting the employee on the back of the head and shoulders. The injured individual suffered soft tissue damage to his right shoulder and required physiotherapy for several months. He was also unable to work for two months.

The company had failed to adequately manage the risks associated with working at height. Employees were not aware of the dangers associated with climbing storage racking and no safe system of work was in place.

The HSE inspector investigating said:

“This incident could have been prevented had the company provided a risk assessment or a safe system of work for the task in hand. Employees should be made aware of the risks associated with climbing storage racking.”

How Safety PAL would have prevented this

Safety PAL has the unique ability to use simple and easy videos, which give all workers the knowledge of tasks and the associated hazards in a way that is compelling and engaging.

In addition Safety PAL records when workers have watched the videos and passed any associated Q&A. Safety PAL also includes as standard a risk assessment tool, information on the site and zone hazards to create your safe system of work.

If Safety PAL was operating on this site, you could prove the worker was negligent and that he had read the risk assessment and had suitable training to undergo the task in hand, proving you actually did do everything practicably possible.