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Firm fined £1,000 after ladder fall

PUBLISHED: 19:03 11 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:19 03 March 2010

A DESIGN firm has been fined £1,000 for breaching health and safety regulations after a worker fell from the top of a ladder.

Magistrates heard Dean Reynolds, an employee at Mike Ayres Design Ltd, suffered a broken elbow and severe bruising after falling more than 9ft onto a concrete floor.

A DESIGN firm has been fined £1,000 for breaching health and safety regulations after a worker fell from the top of a ladder.

Magistrates heard Dean Reynolds, an employee at Mike Ayres Design Ltd, suffered a broken elbow and severe bruising after falling more than 9ft onto a concrete floor.

The company, based in Stanton, near Bury St Edmunds, appeared before Mildenhall magistrates and admitted a charge of failing to provide safe working conditions.

The court was also told Mr Reynolds had launched a civil lawsuit against the firm to get compensation for his injuries.

Tim Pain, prosecuting for the Health and Safety Executive, said the accident had happened on May 4 last year when the bottom of the ladder slipped on the painted concrete floor of the workshop.

He added Mr Reynolds had been using the top half of a two-part extension ladder to get to the mezzanine storage level in the factory, which designs sensory equipment for people with special needs.

"The ladder slipped on the painted floor when Mr Reynolds was at the top. As a result, he suffered serious injury and was off work for over two months," said Mr Pain.

He added Mr Reynolds had been trying to get an aluminium frame from the upstairs storage area and ladders had been the only way to get there as no stairway or fixed ladder had been installed.

Mr Pain said: "We are trying to make employers more aware of the dangers of using ladders.

"The employer has clear duties and it is not enough to rely on the common sense or

experience of employees in these circumstances."

Jane Walsh, mitigating, said improvements had now been made at the factory to make sure a similar accident could not happen.

"Mr Reynolds took half an extending ladder, but it wasn't the bottom half with rubber feet on. Nobody had anticipated that only part of the ladder would be used, making it much more unsafe – it was a very unsafe thing to do," she added.

"It was a serious injury and employees had been using unsecured ladders, but in the company's defence they made a prompt admission, took immediate steps and have a good safety record. "It was a very unfortunate and isolated incident."

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