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Firm fined after ladder fall death

Firm fined after ladder fall death

Suffolk-based Dutch fumigation company Bergwerff Numansdrop BV has been fined £60,000 and ordered to pay £21,709 in costs after a 42-year-old worker fell to his death from a ladder.

Robert Schmelter, a self-employed electrician from Poland, was installing two fumigation chambers at Anchorage Storage Ltd's premises in Kenton, Suffolk on behalf of Bergwerff Numansdrop BV in October 2007 when the accident took place.

He died after he slipped and fell from a ladder, hitting his head hard on the floor, before the ladder fell on him.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) discovered the company had failed to properly plan and appropriately supervise Mr Schmelter's work at height to ensure that it was carried out in a safe manner.

Bergwerff Numansdrop BV, which was operating as ECO2BV in Britain at the time of the fatal incident, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court for sentencing.

The company admitted breaching Section 3 of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 at an earlier hearing.

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