15503340UK: Leeds based air conditioning maintenance company ICH Ltd has been fined £20,000 after a worker fell through a false ceiling.

The 26 year old worker from Warrington is said to have suffered serious injuries in the incident which occurred at Iceland Foods Ltd in Clayton, Manchester on June 17 last year.

The incident was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) which prosecuted ICH Ltd for serious safety failings.

Manchester Magistrates Court heard that two engineers had been replacing a motor in an air handling unit. One worker was stood on a working platform, accessed via the cold room roof surrounded by a wooden barrier, on which the other engineer was stood.

Whilst stood on the platform fitting the new motor the engineer stepped backwards off the platform, which was positioned over a false ceiling, falling 3m to the ground below.

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ICH Ltd of Union Bridge Works, Roker Lane, Leeds pleaded guilty to a breach of Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulation 2005. It was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,050.18.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Jennifer French said “Falls from height continue to account for a significant proportion of all workplace deaths and serious injuries. Businesses should ensure that all work at height, including work on false ceilings, is properly planned, properly supervised and carried out safely.”