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BOAT BUILDER PROSECUTED OVER SAFETY NEGLECT

AN internationally-known Isle of Wight boat builder has been prosecuted for neglecting safety precautions after a worker fell from wooden staging set up around a boat while it was being refurbished.

The employee, who had worked at the yard for 16 years, was attempting to pick up a linisher – a specialist sanding/polishing machine – while working on a vessel when he fell 1.4m from the staging, breaking his arm.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the incident at the Cowes site of yacht and boat builders Clare Lallow Ltd and brought a prosecution for safety failings under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

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Isle of Wight Magistrates were told yesterday that the employee, who has asked not to be named, was off work for five months following his fall on 4th August 2011. The staging had no measures in place at all to prevent falls.

During a visit to the boatyard after the incident, HSE found the company had added rope guard rails but they were not robust enough to prevent further falls from the high staging, where work was still taking place. A Prohibition Notice was served preventing any further work at height and Clare Lallow Ltd complied by constructing a scaffolding and guard rail system.

Clare Lallow Ltd, established in 1867 and registered at Pyle Street, Newport, is noted for building Morning Cloud, and subsequent yachts, for the-then Prime Minister Edward Heath.

It admitted a breach of Section 2(1) of the Act and was fined £1,000 with £1,000 in costs.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Craig Varian said: “The company’s failings left an individual injured for a significant period of time. Yet the incident was avoidable. Clare Lallow Ltd should have recognised the risks and installed simple, low-cost solutions to prevent the employees falling from this staging around the boat.

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