A 19 year old apprentice required physiotherapy to recover from knee injuries sustained in a fall in a dry dock. David Banks was working on a boat at Pendennis Shipyard Ltd, in Falmouth. While the boat was being painted, it had been enclosed in plastic tenting. At the time of the incident, Mr Banks was cutting away the plastic to prepare the boat for launch.
Mr Banks fell roughly two metres to the dock floor after accessing the first level of scaffolding boards and they subsequently seesawed. No safety rails were in place and the planks had been insecure. Following the fall Mr Banks suffered knee injuries and required physiotherapy. He was unable to work for two weeks following the unfortunate incident.
Two Improvement Notices were served to the firm by the Health and Saftey Executive (HSE) inspector Melissa Lai-Hung regarding the training and supervision of staff and also inadequate planning with regards to apprentice workers. The company had been warned previously about the hazards of working at height. Since 2009, the company had received four Improvement Notices and one Prohibition Notice regarding this. Pendennis Shipyard Ltd was fined £6000 and ordered to pay full costs of £6288 by Truro magistrates after pleading guilty to breaching s2(1) of the HSWA 1974.
HSE inspector Melissa Lai-Hung Stated –
“Mr Banks was unaware that the scaffold planks were insecure and there were no safety rails in place.
“The company provided no safe working method for its workforce, there was no risk assessment for the work, and a lack of information, training, instruction and supervision at the site. This incident could easily have had much more serious consequences for Mr Banks.”
Toby Allies, Pendennis Shipyard’s sales and marketing director, told the Cornish Guardian –
“We are extremely sorry this has happened and we take health and safety very seriously as a company. We are working closely with the HSE to move forward and ensure this doesn’t happen again.”