Lessons Need to Be Learnt – Latest Fall From Heights Prosecutions
Working on a roof at a height is dangerous business, especially when the correct safety measures are not in place.
The HSE continues to highlight further incidents where companies breach Regulation 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
Collapsed scaffolding and removal of a safety harnesses have led to these incidents and lessons need to be learnt fast to avoid future fatalities.
Unpaid Worker Falls Six Metres Through Roof
£38,000 was the total costs incurred from a work at height regulations breach by a company in Gloucestershire. The courts heard how an unpaid worker and friend of the company director fell 6 metres through a fragile roof onto a warehouse floor. He was installing netting to a roof at the time. From the fall he suffered impact injuries to his abdomen which he continues to require medical support for.
The HSE Inspector Stacey Gamwell stated after the hearing: “Workers should avoid standing on roofs where possible by using an elevated work platform. However, if standing on the roof is unavoidable, suitable controls should be put in place such as close-fitting safety nets, guard rails and roof coverings”.
Inadequate Scaffolding Collapse in public car park in Coventry
Back in March 2019, scaffolding was erected with the aim of protecting the public from falling debris at a car park entrance in Coventry.
Unfortunately, the scaffolding was not designed and installed correctly to deal with foreseeable high winds. The company were very fortunate that nobody was seriously injured as this collapse presented high risks to public safety. The company was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,523 following their day in court. They pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 19(2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.
Last years statistics highlighted 29 fall fatalities in the workplace and there is no let up from the HSE who look to lower this statistic.