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Two Italian firms hit with £194k in fines after worker injured in rooflight fall

 The UK division of an Italian engineering company has been in the dock alongside the north east Italy based contractor it hired to refurbish a shed at its Lincoln premises after a worker fell through a fragile rooflight.

 

 

Bifrangi UK, which manufactures forged engine components and is a division of Italian automotive components manufacturer Bifrangi, was fined £140,000 over its role in the accident. 

It had hired contractor Zamperoni Fratelli, based at Asolo in the Italian province of Treviso, near Venice, which was fined £54,000 for its failings.

On 23 January 2018, when Zamperoni Fratelli was refurbishing the shed, its employee was working on its roof when he stepped backwards from the metal sheeting he was standing on and put his weight on a rooflight.

Its fragile plastic broke under his weight, and he fell 5.44 m to the ground, sustaining two broken arms and three broken ribs.

 

The use of simple protective measures to prevent falls from and through the fragile rooflight would have prevented the injury to this worker

 HSE inspector Martin Giles 

 

The HSE investigation found that both companies had failed to risk assess and plan all aspects of construction work on the site.

They had failed to adequately control the risks from the fragile rooflight, and to ensure adequate safe access to the shed roof.

In addition, the HSE found that there was poor supervision and management checks throughout the work, and that both firms had failed to act on previous instances of unsafe work.

Appearing at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court, Bifrangi UK of Shardlow Works, Grange Mill Lane, Sheffield pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

The company was fined £140,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £2,607.

Zamperoni Fratelli of Via Strada Muson, Asolo, Italy was not present in court. In its absence, it was fined £54,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,240.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Martin Giles said: “Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well known.

“In this case the use of simple protective measures to prevent falls from and through the fragile rooflight would have prevented the injury to this worker.

“Contractors working in host employers’ premises require adequate supervision and controls to ensure that they are working safely.”

Bifrangi UK’s Lincoln site forges crankshafts for the agricultural, power generation and automotive markets, while machining operations are based at its head office location in Sheffield.

According to accounts filed with Companies House, in the year to 31 December 2018 Bifrangi UK reported a loss of £249,100 on turnover of £37m.

From: https://www.healthandsafetyatwork.com/news-and-prosecution/two-italian-firms-hit-with-194k-in-fines-after-worker-s-5.44-m-rooflight-fall

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