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Company fined £700,000 after death at Yate factory

WHIRLPOOL UK Appliances has been fined £700,000 after a self-employed contractor fell from a platform at its Yate factory and later died from his injuries.

The 66-year-old man had been working at a height of nearly five metres (more than 16ft) to install revised fire detection equipment at the former Indesit factory in Station Road when the incident happened.

He was using a mobile elevated work platform to carry out the work in March 2015.

At the same time, Whirlpool UK maintenance workers started an overhead conveyor unaware that the contractor was working nearby.

The movement caused the platform to tip over and the man fell to the factory floor. He later died from his injuries.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found there was no effective control or supervision in place to prevent the conflicting work tasks from being undertaken at the same time.

Whirlpool pleaded guilty at Bristol Crown Court to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. As well as the fine, it was also ordered to pay costs of £11,466.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Matt Tyler said: “This is a tragic case where the incident could have been prevented if the company had planned and controlled the work properly.”