An employee of Crown Chicken Ltd, who process chicken in Norfolk, was removed from his normal duties and was assisting with a maintenance job when he fell from a ladder and fractured his back at the company’s premises in Weybread, Diss, in July last year.
The 61-year old man was ascending the unsecured ladder carrying cladding boards when the ladder slipped, causing him to fall 2.5 metres, resulting in fractured vertebrae in his lower spine. Although he has returned to work following a 6 months absence, he can no longer accomplish some of his former work duties because of the injury.

On the day of the accident his supervisor permitted him to help the other employee with the maintenance task, but this was not adequately planned, furthermore, the company had not provided information to its employees on how to use ladders safely.
Following prosecution, an HSE official commented: “The accident victim was taken from his usual duties and asked to carry out a task for which he was neither properly trained nor supervised. As a result he suffered a serious and extremely painful injury which caused him to be off work for months. More workers are injured by falling from a ladder than any other access equipment. Crown Chicken should have been aware of this and ensured that adequate systems were in place so that its employees were not put at risk.”

Crown Chicken Ltd admitted breaching S.2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 at Lowestoft Magistrates’ Court today and was fined £3,500 plus costs of £3,000.