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Worker crushed by unstable panel board stack next to his workbench

An exhibition contractor has been fined after wooden display panel boards fell on top of a worker and crushed him.

Global Displays, which designs and builds exhibition stands at its factory in Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire, has been fined £14,000 and ordered to pay £1,180 costs after it admitted breaching s 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Worcester Magistrates’ Court was told that, on 8 April 2017, an unstable stack of upright panels measuring 4 m x 1 m, as well as several smaller ones, toppled on to the employee. He sustained a dislocated shoulder and a fractured arm.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said the company had failed to identify the risks from storing timber boards close to workbenches and a thoroughfare used by workers. 

HSE inspector Alastair Mitchell said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out a risk assessment in relation to the storage of display panel boards. This would have identified the risks from unsafe stacking and the need for appropriate control measures, such as a method for storing boards safely.”



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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