22.03.2017

Fatal platform fall costs Whirlpool £700k

Whirlpool UK Appliances has been fined £700,000 after a man died at one of its plants on 21 March 2015 when his platform overturned.

The man - a self-employed electrician -had been working, from what was originally reported as a boom lift - at a height of nearly five metres installing revised fire detection equipment, at the Whilpool-Indesit plant in Yate, near Bristol.

At the same time Whirlpool maintenance staff started an overhead conveyor unaware that the contractor was working nearby. The conveyer collided with the lift causing it to overturn, the man, 66, fell to the floor and died from his injuries a few days later.

A Health & Safety Executive investigation found there was no effective control or supervision in place to prevent the conflicting work tasks from being undertaken at the same time. Whirlpool pleaded guilty and was fined £700,000 plus costs of £11,466.
See Fatal Lift incident

Vertikal Comment

Every year there are one or two such incidents in the developed world, usually involving overhead cranes colliding with scissor lifts. Many of them in the past have been overhead crane inspectors or service engineers.

Such risks really need identifying before starting work and the overhead equipment disabled or the controls tagged with a Do Not Use warning. Sadly another man has lost his life while those who operated the conveyor will almost certainly have been traumatised.

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