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Ovenpride Wholesale Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety, after a man who fell from a stepladder, died as a result of his injuries.

The prosecution saw the manager of Ovenpride Wholesale Ltd admit to breach of safety laws, by not providing a safe work place, ultimately leading to the handyman Rocco Carofalo’s death.

Mr Carofalo, who worked as a casual employee at the bakery wholesaler on Finchley Road, was asked by his manager to construct shelving units in the storeroom. On the morning of the 22 April 2009, Carofolo was witnessed to have been standing on a stepladder whilst constructing the units, with Ovenpride supplying his equipment. He was later found around midday lying comatose next to the step ladder, bleeding from a major wound to the head. He was taken to hospital, though died later, on 23 June.

After the incident, two Health and Safety Executives conducted an investigation at the site, and after deeming much of the access equipment – such as stepladders – to be unsuitable, issued a Prohibition Notice disallowing any further work high up.

After the legal hearing, which took place at the City of London Magistrates’ Court, Inspector Charles Linfoot for the HSE stated the incident was tragic, but due to the nature of measures needed to prevent this kind of accident happening, very easily preventable. The dangers involved with falling should have been easy to see, and the manager and Ovenpride would have eliminated the present dangers with a specific risk-assessment of the site, and properly planned an initiative to allow for a safe working environment.

At court, the company from Empire Way, Brent pled guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act, 1974 and was fined £1. Additionally, 57 year old Amjad Mahmood, of Donnington Road, Brent was also fined for breaching Section 2(1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. He was fined £300 and ordered to pay costs of £200.