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Pallet rack fall costs janitorial equipment co £60,000

A company that supplies high pressure washers, based in Nailsea, North Somerset, has been fined after a storeman was seriously injured when he fell 2 m off a warehouse racking system.

In November 2014, Nailsea Power Cleaning employee Simon Whitcombe, 41, climbed one of the storeroom’s pallet racks to secure a load for lifting by a forklift truck. He fell on to the concrete floor below and fractured both his heel bones. He is still recovering from his injuries and no longer works for the company. 

Environmental health officers from North Somerset Council, which brought the prosecution, investigated the accident. They found that the company had not stabilised the rack, had failed to ensure that lifting operations were properly planned, and had not adequately trained employees in the operation of forklift trucks.

They also found that there was no written health and safety policy or suitable and sufficient risk assessments for the work.   

Nailsea Power cleaning, which supplies electric, petrol and diesel high-power washers to trade in the UK, admitted breaching s 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and reg 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, which cover suitable and sufficient risk assessments. 

Daniel Baker, director of Nailsea Power Cleaning, pleaded guilty to breaching ss 33(1)(a) and 33(1)(c) of the Health and Safety at Work Act.  

The company was fined £60,000 plus £13,809 costs at Bristol Crown Court.

North Somerset Council said that after the accident the company put in place procedures to comply with its duties.


Keeley Downey is acting deputy editor of IOSH Magazine. She is a former editor of Biofuels International, Bioenergy Insight and Tank Cleaning Magazine

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