An employee of a large metals company suffered near fatal burns when they fell through a set of metal railings into a pit of process liquor at approximately 92 0C during a pumping operation. The railings were badly corroded and were not covered by the site's maintenance/inspection systems. No risk assessment had been carried out for the pumping operation; the system of work used was ad-hoc and required the injured person to manipulate heavy and unwieldy equipment at the pit edge.
The company pleaded guilty for failing to carry out a risk assessment of the pumping operation, and for failing to both maintain the railings in good repair and implement a suitable system of maintenance for them. The company was fined a total of £125,000, with full costs awarded of £17,763.