An environmental company from the West Midlands has been prosecuted, after an employee fell a distance of seven metres into a sewage well.
The thirty four year old employee, who has not been named, was working for Tardis Environmental UK Ltd and had been asked to clear a blockage at a partially finished housing development in Halesowen.
Dudley Magistrates’ Court was told that a pump at the bottom of the sewage well had become blocked and in order to clear it the worker had removed the grid and was standing over the well with a hose, blasting the blocked pump with water.
Unfortunately he lost his balance after the hose kicked back and he fell into the chamber.
The employee suffered bruising to his head, elbows and knees in the fall, as well as friction burns to his arms, he also ingested raw sewage.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the incident and discovered that the employee had received training in how to use the pumping equipment but no instruction on how to safely empty below the ground sewage wells, or the risks involved when working at height.
It was also discovered that no safety equipment had been provided by the company, such as a harness or workers restraint.
Tardis Environmental UK Ltd, of Leamore, in Bloxwich, was fined £15,000 after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act.