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A company and its director have been charged with failing to comply with health and safety charges, which both deny.

In August 2015, a worker at Smerrill dairy unit at Gloucestershire-based Kemble Farms, Alexander Greenfield, also known as George, fell through a skylight. He landed on a concrete floor at the dairy, leading to severe injury. At Gloucester Crown Court, the company director and the firm were charged with failing to comply with working at height regulations and not supervising the work, or planning and ensuring it was carried out safely.

Switch Capital EMEA Ltd, based in Wenlock Road, London, and the director, Timothy Dobson, both deny the charges. The company entered a not guilty plea to the charge of noncompliance of health and safety regulations, while the company director pleaded not guilty to connivance, consent and neglect of the compliance of health and safety regulations. The prosecution allege that Dobson permitted a lower standard of safety precautions than was practical.

According to the prosecutor, Jonathan Fuller, 10 witnesses (including two experts) will be giving evidence during the trial, which is expected to last 10 days. The case was adjourned by Judge Jamie Tabor QC, with the trial set to start November 13. Greenfield may have to provide evidence using a video link to the courtroom due to his disability.

Employers have a responsibility to prevent employees being injured during the course of their work, including provision of PPE and any other equipment necessary.

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