Brookenby business fined £100,000 after employee was ‘badly injured’ at work

Lincoln Crown Court.
Lincoln Crown Court.

A worker suffered serious injuries when he fell while carrying out maintenance work at a Lincolnshire sea food processing factory, a jury was told at Lincoln Crown Court yesterday afternoon (July 27).

Virginius Kurselis was standing inside a box held up by a fork lift truck when he fell seven metres while painting at the Fishgate Ltd factory at Brookenby, near Market Rasen.

Mr Kurselis spent four weeks on hospital and underwent two operations as a result of injuries he received as a result of the fall in July 2013.

His left leg was shattered and his right foot was broken. He also suffered a cracked pelvis and a dislocated right arm.

Robert Stevenson, prosecuting, said that Mr Kurselis was employed as a packer but was asked to paint gutterings and down pipes in preparation for a visit from a customer.

Mr Kurselis initially used a ladder but changed and stood in a box which was lifted by a forklift truck to the required height.

Mr Stevenson said: “Unfortunately the box tipped forward and Mr Kurselis fell.

“Mr Kurselis was employed as a factory operative. His role was as a packer but on the day he was asked to do some painting.

“The company was expecting a visit from a new customer and wanted the building to look more presentable.

“He wasn’t given any training as to how to safely carry out that work.

“There was an absence of any instruction and there was an absence of any supervision.”

Fishgate Ltd of Brookenby Business Park, Binbrook, denied a charge of failing to discharge a duty of health, safety and welfare of an employee.

The firm was convicted by a jury following a short trial and fined £100,000 and ordered to pay £19,032 prosecution costs.

The company is currently in administration, and was not represented in court.

Recorder Paul Mann QC, passing sentence, said: “Mr Kursilis was given no advice as to how to do this safely and no equipment apart from a tin of paint and a brush.

“This was an accident waiting to happen.

“He was very badly injured. He could so easily have been killed.”