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Workers injured in 5m fall to ground

  • 08 April 2014
  • By Roger Brown

Ceva Logistics has been fined £10,000 after two of its employees were badly injured when they were knocked nearly 5m to the ground.

In a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecution, Margate Magistrates’ Court was told how the two men, who wish to remain anonymous, were working on a bank holiday weekend in May 2013 for Ceva at a site in Manston, Kent.

The court heard the two men – one aged 45 and the other 47 – were part of a team of six people tasked with painting lines on the floor of a despatch area.

They had to remove generator sets before painting could take place, and then replace the sets.
The team used a truck to raise them up so they could photograph the improvements they had been working on when the vehicle was hit by an overhead crane that was putting the last sets back into place and the two men fell to the floor below.

One of the men suffered a broken jaw, 11 broken teeth, a fractured elbow and a broken pelvis.
He is still unable to fully straighten his left arm and has needed reconstructive surgery on his jaw.
The second worker gashed his leg, suffered whiplash and required 10 stitches for a head wound.
The HSE found Ceva had not planned the job effectively and so failed to provide its employees with a safe method of work for the job and clear supervision.

Ceva was also ordered to pay £1,491 in costs after admitting a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, which states that employers must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all employees.

HSE inspector Robert Hassell, speaking after the hearing, said: “One of the two employees received life-changing injuries – the injuries to his left arm and face will always be with him.
“But there could have been even graver consequences of what was a preventable fall.
“Ceva Logistics should have made sure that its employees were fully aware of the safe methods to be used to carry out the job and that there was effective supervision on site. But it didn’t, and two workers were badly injured as a result.”

A Ceva spokesman said: “Safety is at the heart of Ceva’s operating culture, and given this, the company is extremely concerned and disappointed that this incident occurred and that two of our employees were injured as a result.
“Since the incident, Ceva has taken additional steps to prevent this from happening in the future, which was recognised by the court in the hearing.”


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