Installations firm fined after worker falls off scaffolding

An worker has sustained a bleed on the brain and damage to his lungs and ribs after falling four metres onto a hard floor. The incident happened when the employee was working for an installations company and was working on a soffit and fascia installation. The platform he was working on gave way when the ladder brackets supporting it broke away which caused the man to fall.

The man was badly injured and was rushed to Hospital with a brain injury. The HSE, Health and Safety Executive immediately investigated the incident and found the company guilty of breaching regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

A Magistrates Court heard that the equipment provided by the company was not adequate for working at height as it had no guardrails, no toe boards and was not installed in line with the manufacturer’s instructions. The accident could have been entirely avoidable.

The company were found guilty of breaching regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined a total of £10,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £1,229 and a victim surcharge of £120.

HSE Inspector said: “Falls from height remain the most common form of workplace fatality. There is no excuse for not planning work at height properly or ensuring the appropriate safety equipment is used. Access equipment used for working at height should always be installed in line with manufacturer’s instructions.

“This equipment had no guard rails to prevent a person from falling and it could have easily cost this man his life.

“It is vital to ensure that equipment is in good order as structural failures can have terrible consequences. The roofing industry is well aware of the risks involved whilst working at height and the controls which should be put in place to manage those risks.”

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