An engineer suffered injury when he fell from a ladder after being struck by a pipe.
The unnamed 37 year old worker was employed by MB Air Systems Ltd at the time of the incident in December 2010. The installation engineer had been sent to fit new pipework for a compressed air distribution system at the premises of GT Precision Products Ltd.
The accident occurred whilst the man was working on the pipework at a height of three metres. To get up to that height he used a stepladder. However, whilst he was on the stepladder he lost his balance. He grabbed hold of a lever valve to steady himself, but unfortunately this let out a stream of compressed air and the pipe swung round and hit him on the head.
The blow from the pipe caused him to fall from the ladder and suffer serious injuries. He suffered 14 hairline fractures on his skull, as well as fracturing his eye socket and suffering bruising to his brain and back.
The HSE investigated the accident and found that MB Air Systems had not provided the engineer with a powered scissor lift to work at height from, despite a risk assessment stating that this was necessary. This meant that the man sought his own arrangements for working at height and borrowed a ladder from GT Precision Products.
Both companies were in court last week charged with breaking health and safety law in regards to the ladder accident. Both MB Air Systems Ltd and GT Precision Products Ltd were fined £5,000.