Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard that, on three separate occasions in 2016, a director of Quality Food carried out work at height when there were no suitable or sufficient measures in place to prevent him, nor the employees who were assisting him, falling a distance likely to cause personal injury.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that, on one of those occasions, the director and an employee accessed the roof by standing on the prongs of a forklift truck, which had a wooden pallet attached to it.
Two further incidents were detailed that related to works carried out primarily by the director with brief assistance from an employee. Witnesses photographed the illegal activities and the HSE was alerted.
Quality Food Products (Aberdeen) Ltd of West Tullos Industrial Estate, Aberdeen, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6 (3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £10,000.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Connor Gibson said: “Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well known.
‘Appropriate enforcement action’
“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the standards required.”
Falls from height have cost food manufacturers more than £1m in the past year.
In August last year, ready meals manufacturer Fishgate Ltd was ordered to pay more than £100,000 for safety failings, after a worker fell 6 metres off the back of a forklift truck.
Meanwhile, in September, Greencore was fined £1m, after a contractor hired to complete electrical work at its Hull site died after falling from a stepladder.