Company failed to plan or supervise work and didn’t carry out risk assessment… A maintenance company in Walsall has been prosecuted after a worker sustained serious injuries when he feel through a fragile roof 11 feet from the ground in Nottingham.
The 58-year-old accident victim fractured his pelvis as a reuslt of the impact of the fall. He also dislocated his shoudler and sustained deep gashes to both his face and left elbow in the incident which occurred on 4 July 2012. He spent a period of four months off work as he recuperated from his various injuries.
The subsequent investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) discovered that the accident victim had been working alone at the time of the accident. He was in the process of placing boards over broken rooflights on the main building at a school, when he paused to pick up some tools and fell through a fragile canopy that was covering part of a playground.
Nottingham Magistrates’ Court heard that the maintenance firm had failed in their duty to carry out an adequate risk assessment and had neither planned or supervised the work in accordance with safety regulations. Indeed the company had referred to the need to use a scaffold and harness system when preparing their quotation for the work, but neither of these safety measures had been implemented.
The company was fined £11,000 and ordered to pay an additional £9,732 in prosecution costs after admitting theit guilt in breaching two separate acts of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
HSE Inspector Frances Bailey commented at the conclusion of the case:
“The accident victim sustained serious injuries and could have died as a result of the fall. He had been working alone at the derelict school, so it was fortunate that he was able to call the emergency services himself after the incident occurred.
“The dangers of working at height and near fragile materials are well known, yet incidents of this kind occur all too often. This fall could have easily been prevented if the company had properly assessed the risks and put simple measures in place to minimise them. The implementation of an appropriate plan would also have ensured that anyone undertaking the work was properly supervised and protected.
“This prosecution should serve as a reminder to all companies of their legal duties to manage safety and provide the protection required to safeguard workers from falls.”
Author: Julian Roberts
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