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Corroded ladder leads to £21k fine

Brickwork cleaning contractor penalised after worker’s accident

The Health and Safety Executive has warned contractors to ensure they maintain their equipment properly following a case in which a worker was disabled after falling 3 m from a ladder that snapped.

Lancashire brickwork cleaning contractor Gazelle Steam Cleaning was fined £7,000 plus £14,257 costs for breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act.

The worker, Gary Jaundrill, suffered serious spinal injuries after falling from the seventh rung of an aluminium ladder that had been corroded by the power washing fluid the firm was using.

The hydrochloric acid in the solution had caused the ladder to snap in two.

HSE construction inspector Rob Hodkinson said after the case: “Gazelle failed to give its workers proper instructions or training for the use and care of ladders while brick washing.

“The ladders were regularly exposed to the corrosive effect of the acid without being the subject of rigorous and regular checking.”