Whirlpool fatality leads to £700k fine

It is vital that risks are identified before work is started.

The latest high profile case of a company failing to do this involves Whirlpool UK Appliances and a fine of £700,000.

A self-employed electrician was working at a height of five metres on a mobile elevated work platform (MEWP) to install fire detection equipment. Unaware of the contractor’s presence, Whirlpool maintenance staff started a nearby overhead conveyor. The movement caused the MEWP to tip over and the contractor fell to his death.

Ineffective control and supervision

A Health & Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the company did not have effective controls or supervision to prevent the conflicting tasks being done at the same time.

Sentence

Whirlpool UK Appliances pleaded guilty to breaching the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.  It was fined £700,000 plus costs of £11,400.

The HSE said the incident could have been prevented if Whirlpool had properly planned and controlled the work.

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