Working at height remains one of the biggest causes of fatalities and major injuries in the UK. Common incidents include falls from ladders and through fragile surfaces.
A contractor and scaffolding company were sentenced today for safety breaches after a worker fell five metres from a roof.
Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard how in December 2015 Jhanade Ryan, a sub-contractor working for Centreco (UK) Ltd, was installing solar panels to the roof of Firth Steels, Brighouse.
Mr Ryan suffered life changing injuries. He slipped on the roof, sliding down to the edge protection. The toe board of the edge protection snapped and he fell through the scaffold, landing on a sub-station flat roof. He sustained a fracture to his spine, a broken coccyx and nerve damage. Mr Ryan was in hospital for almost three months and is now unable to work due to ongoing mobility issues.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the scaffolding company had not erected the scaffold to a known industry standard or design.
The investigation also found roof lights were present on the roof and that the contractor had failed to take effective measures to prevent workers falling through these fragile surfaces.
Oswestry Shropshire Scaffold Ltd of Pool Cottage, Oswestry, Shropshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and has been fined £28,800 and ordered to pay £945.20 in costs.
Centreco (UK) Ltd of Hearle House, Chorley, Lancs pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and has been fined £33,500 and ordered to pay £945.20 in costs.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Jayne Towey commented: “Falls from height often result in life changing or fatal injuries. In most cases these accidents are needless and could be prevented by properly planning to ensure that effective preventative and protective measures are in place such as edge protection or barriers built to the correct standard.”
For further information on Working at Height, and the training you should be giving your workers and contractors – please contact Alpha Training Safety Solution. We run regular courses from our training academy in West Sussex, and across the UK.
Source: HSE Website