Man fell between a gap and suffered a broken femur, 11 broken ribs, a bruised lung and two cuts to his head

Carillion (AMBS) Ltd has been fined £40,000 after a cleaner was injured in a fall while working on a power station in Nottinghamshire.

The firm was also ordered to pay £8,300 costs by Nottingham magistrates, after pleading guilty to breaching regulations of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Carillion admitted it had failed to ensure cleaning work was properly planned and supervised, and failed to take measures to prevent a fall.

The incident occurred in October 2007, when a temporary industrial cleaner working for Carillion at the E.ON UK power station was asked to clean ducting that supplied air to the boilers.

Two ducts were separated by a gap, but neither duct had edge protection and there was a drop of six-and-a-half metres to the grating below.

The cleaner was provided with a harness and given instructions, but was not provided with any training on how to use it. The harness is designed to halt someone mid-fall, so it only reduces the potential for injury rather than preventing the fall altogether.

The cleaner unclipped himself from the girder the harness was secured to, and fell between the gap. He suffered a broken femur, 11 broken ribs, a bruised lung and two cuts to his head which required stitches. He has been unable to return to work since.

Sian Tiernan, a Health and Safety Executive inspector, said: “Every month over a thousand people suffer serious injuries as a result of slips, trips or falls in the workplace. These shattering injuries can be avoided by sensible and proportionate management of the risks, but sadly that was not done in this case and that lack of action has resulted in a man being unable to work.”