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£20K fine for Pfeifer Rope & Tackle after climbing rope failed at Rock UK Carroty Wood Adventure Centre
A HAMPSHIRE firm has been fined £20,000 after an outdoors activity instructor was left permanently disabled in an accident.
Joshua Senior, 25, plunged 30ft to the ground after a rope supplied by Pfeifer Rope & Tackle Ltd in Marchwood failed as he stepped off a platform, pictured, for a practice descent, a court heard.
Mr Senior, an experienced instructor from Tunbridge Wells, suffered a broken back and was paralysed from the waist down for six months after the accident at the Rock UK Carroty Wood Adventure Centre near Tonbridge, Kent.
He slowly regained some use of his lower limbs over the following year with the help of Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
As he was regaining movement, it became clear his ankle had been crushed and his right foot had to be amputated.
The firm, based at Marchwood Industrial Park, was also ordered to pay £6,348 in costs after admitting breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
The prosecution was brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Southampton Magistrates’ Court heard that Pfiefer Rope & Tackle Ltd had used the wrong parts in the batch supplied to the Rock UK Carroty Wood Adventure Centre and its quality control system had failed.
After the hearing, HSE specialist inspector Steve Simmons-Jacobs said: “This was an avoidable incident that has had a severe impact on a young life.
“It is only a matter of chance that this was not a fatality. As it is, Mr Senior has suffered life-changing injuries and has now been fitted with a prosthetic foot.
“Companies must realise that their systems may be critical to the health and safety of the people who use their products.”
Pfeifer Rope & Tackle Ltd declined to comment.
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