A Leeds based air conditioning maintenance company has been fined after a worker fell three metres through a false ceiling.

Two engineers were replacing a motor in an air handling unit when the 26-year-old worker fell, suffering serious injuries, Manchester Magistrates Court heard on 16 December.

One worker was stood on a working platform, accessed via the cold room roof surrounded by a wooden barrier, on which the other engineer was stood. While stood on the platform, fitting the new motor, the engineer stepped backwards off the platform, which was positioned over a false ceiling, falling three metres to the ground below.

The incident, which occurred at Iceland Foods in Clayton, Manchester on the 17 June 2015, was investigated by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) which prosecuted ICH Ltd for serious safety failings.

ICH Ltd of Union Bridge Works, Roker Lane, Leeds pleaded guilty to a breach of Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulation 2005 and was fined £20,000.00 and ordered to pay costs of £1,050.18.

HSE inspector Jennifer French said: “Falls from height continue to account for a significant proportion of all workplace deaths and serious injuries. Businesses should ensure that all work at height, including work on false ceilings, is properly planned, properly supervised and carried out safely.”

For further information on working at height please visit: http://www.hse.gov.uk/toolbox/height.htm.