A worker could have been killed when metal grating gave way under his feet at a tissue factory, a court has heard.
NTG (Papermill) Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following the incident at its factory on the Lansil Industrial Estate in Lancaster on August 24, 2009.
Lancaster Magistrates’ Court heard the 39-year-old from Lancaster had been helping to hose down machinery during a two-week shutdown at the factory when he tried to cross the mezzanine floor, six metres above the ground.
As he stepped onto it, the metal grating gave way.
His arms and jaw hit the floor as he fell and he managed to pull himself up.
The worker, who has asked not to be named, suffered bruising and friction burns to his chest and along his arms.
He also bruised his jaw.
A HSE investigation found the company did not have a suitable inspection and maintenance regime for checking the floor at the factory, despite it being in a humid area and at risk of becoming unstable due to rust.
NTG (Papermill) Ltd, of Lansil Way in Lancaster, was fined £10,000 after pleading guilty to a breach of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 by failing to properly maintain the mezzanine floor.
The company was also ordered to pay £5,866 in prosecution costs.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Anthony Banks said: “The employee at NTG was lucky he was able to grab onto the mezzanine floor as he fell. If he had fallen all the way to the concrete below then he could have been killed.”