A North East company has been fined more than £25,000 after one of their workers fell into a pit and suffered serious injuries.

Saltburn-based company Peel Jones Copper Products Ltd have been fined £26,666 and ordered to pay £4,105 in costs at Teesside Magistrates’ Court yesterday (January 24) after the worker fell into a moulding pit.

The incident took place at Maynard Foundry, Kilton Lane, Saltburn on August 27, 2021, when the worker lost their bearings due to a lack of light and fell into one of the company's pits, breaking a rib.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had not properly assessed the risk created by the pits, and that suitable edge protection or covers for the pits had not been provided.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

Stephen Garner, HSE inspector, said: “The company failed to take suitable measures to prevent employees falling into its moulding pits.

"This was a clear and obvious hazard that was known to the company.

"There had been a previous incident and HSE had already taken enforcement action in relation to this particular risk in 2018.

"It should be immediately foreseeable that harm is likely to result from a system whereby employees are required to walk past unprotected fall edges in the dark in order to open up a site.”

Darlington and Stockton Times:

This incident took place after the worker had to walk from one side of the casting room  to the other in order to turn on the lights.

The company served was with a Notification of Contravention, requiring it to provide improved protection around the moulding pit.

Meanwhile, it did later install edge protection but this was removed as larger moulds began to be used by the firm.

Prior to this, there had been a previous incident in August 2021 where an employee fell into one of the company’s pits, though there were no significant injuries.

The firm pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety At Work Act 1974.