Walltopia Fined For Workplace Safety

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The largest climbing wall manufacturer in the world was fined 500,000 Pounds ($663,325) by a UK county Health and Safety inspector during construction of an adventure course. The company pleaded guilty to unsafe working practices after a passerby noticed work at height being carried out from a pallet on the forks of a telehandler (a large boom-type forklift). The workers were also accessing the roof by climbing from the basket of a boom lift.

Walltopia workers accessed the roof of the structure from a cherry picker, according to the HSE. Photo: Derby Telegraph.
Walltopia workers accessed the roof of the structure from a cherry picker, according to the HSE. Photo: Derby Telegraph.

The Derby Telegraph reported:

The individual reported the issue to Walltopia but – despite receiving assurances – the firm continued to carry out the work from an unsafe height. The member of the public then reported the matter to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which found that work was taking place on a section of roof 11 metres off the ground, without the use of any means to prevent two workers falling from the open edges.

Speaking after the case, HSE Inspector Lee Greatorex said: “Using a pallet on a telehandler for planned work at height is an unacceptable means of access. It appears that the company failed to put in place control measures after being alerted about this.”

Greatorex went on to say, “Walltopia failed to follow recognized industry standards during work at height and did not make effective changes to the control of their working methods following the matter being brought to its attention.”