A HAMPSHIRE firm has been fined £20,000 for safety failings which led to the injuring of a member of staff.

Hamble Yacht Services Ltd has been sentenced after a worker fell while repairing a yacht.

Adam Whiteaway, 26, from Southampton, was working on a platform filling holes when support planks gave way.

He fell nearly two metres, severely bruising his ribs and was off work for a month.

The incident, on 14 June 2011, was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which prosecuted the company for two safety breaches.

Southampton Magistrates’ Court heard today Mr Whiteaway had not received any training or instruction on how to safely construct staging and working platforms around the yachts.

HSE Inspectors found that two support bars on the staging used by Mr Whiteaway were missing and this caused the sides to move apart and the boards collapsed.

The company, of Port Hamble, Hampshire, was fined a total of £20,000 and ordered to pay £3,805 in costs after admitting two breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

After the hearing, HSE inspector, Alec Ryan said: “This incident was avoidable. Hamble Yacht Services Ltd should have recognised the risks and taken the measures necessary to prevent the working platform from collapsing.

“You don't have to fall from a great height to lose your life. Workers should not have to suffer preventable injuries because simple steps have not been taken to manage obvious workplace risks. It is vital all work is properly planned, assessed and then implemented.

“Work at height is inherently dangerous and if not managed properly can result in serious injury or even death. This hearing serves as a further reminder of the serious risks posed when employees work at height.”