Window firm fined over safety failings

One of Britain's biggest home improvement companies was fined £10,000 for failings which led to a worker being badly injured in Linlithgow.

Saturday, 16th January 2016, 9:00 am
Anglian Windows Ltd were fined £10,000 after admitting a health and safety breach caused an employee to suffer life-changing injuries

Anglian Windows Ltd admitted failing to inform, train and supervise workers about the safest way to load equipment on to a van.

As a result tradesman Alan Campbell fell from the roof of a Mercedes Sprinter van and suffered life-changing head injuries while he was working for the firm at The Maltings, Linlithgow, in June 2012.

He suffered two bleeds to his brain, was put in an induced coma for three weeks and was unable to walk for six months.

He had to have a metal plate inserted in his skull as a result of the “tragic” accident and now has an eight-inch scar from his forehead to his ear.

Livingston Sheriff Court heard the company, which has around 4000 workers in the UK, settled a civil claim for damages, but the Norwich-based firm pleaded guilty to a criminal charge of failing to ensure Mr Campbell’s safety.

Mr Campbell signed a form accepting the company’s procedure but employees found the “safe” system didn’t work in practice and still climbed on to van roofs to secure loads.

Helen McCannell, prosecuting, said the company had no previous convictions and had since introduced a new “easylift” system along with revised health and safety guidance.

Passing sentence, Sheriff Peter Hammond said the consequences for Mr Campbell were “substantial” as he was left with facial disfigurement and loss of ability to enjoy family life.

The sheriff added: “I’m prepared to regard this as an isolated, or at least limited, breach of the legislation and accept there was no deliberate or calculated shortcut taken for commercial reasons.”