Scaffolding removed from building site before job completed… A construction worker fell seven metres from the roof of a building that was being refurbished in Belgravia, London. Scaffolding that had originally been in place at the site had been removed some weeks earlier.
The 28 year-old man suffered serious injuries after the fall including fractures to his leg, heel and wrist and he is registered as disabled to this day.
The accident victim had been employed to clear away some debris on the roof of the building that had been left there after some earlier refurbishment work on the building. The man was using a ladder to cross from one section of the roof to a lower part but he didn’t secure the ladder properly and it fell away from the building leading him to lose his footing and fall to the ground 7 metres below.
Westminister Magistrates’ Court fined the construction company £30,000 plus costs of £7,515 after they admitted breaching r.4(1)(a), r.5 and r.6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 meaning they had failed to properly plan the construction work, failed to ensure the work was adequately supervised and failed to take sufficient measures to ensure the safety of their employees.
HSE inspector Andrew Verrall-Withers commented after the case:
“This was an appalling and entirely preventable incident which has severely affected a young man’s life. Companies have a duty to take steps to reduce risks and prevent falls using equipment such as guardrails and working platforms, or even nets and airbags if needs be. If the company had properly planned and organised the work and sufficiently assessed the risks of working at height, along with the use of appropriate work equipment, the likelihood of this happening would have been much reduced”
The HSE have reported that slips, trips and falls made up more than half of all reported major injuries in the UK last year and approximately two million working days were lost due to manual handling injuries and slips,trips and falls in the same period.