Refurbishment company prosecuted after failing to protect employee…
A roof refurbishment company based in Monmouth has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after one of their employees fell six metres from the roof of a house in Cirencester and was seriously injured.
Cheltenham Magistrates’ Court heard that the 26-year-old accident victim was replacing tiles on the roof of the house using a roof ladder when the incident occurred on 28 October 2011.
After losing his footing on the ladder the man fell a total of six metres, fortunately his fall was broken by a bush before he hit the ground. The bush may well have saved the man’s life but he still sustained injuries including a broken right wrist and some cuts and bruising. He was taken to hospital where he stayed for two days while he recovered from his injuries and was able to return to work after a period of recuperation lasting six weeks.
The subsequent investigation by the HSE discovered that the refurbishment company that employed the man had failed in their duty to provide him with the necessary protection to safeguard against the dangerous risks associated with working at heights.
The court was also told that the same company had been served with a Prohibition Notice last year after a fitter employed by them had been found to be working without any edge protection. The HSE had provided the company with specific guidelines on safety protocols at this time but the company had failed to implement them.
The company pleaded guilty to breaching sections 4(1)(a) and 4(1)(c) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined a total of £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,500.
HSE Inspector Sue Adsett spoke after the hearing:
“The man was lucky to have had his fall broken by a bush. Falls from height, and particularly in the construction industries, have caused many deaths and major injuries over the past 12 months.
“This incident could have easily been prevented by providing scaffolding on the property for the duration of the work. It is a reminder to all companies who expect their employees to work at height of their legal duties to manage safety and provide the protection required to safeguard them from falls.”
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