Company fined after worker falls from roof
A company in Wiltshire has been fined after one of its workers fell from the roof of a summerhouse he was erecting and suffered serious injuries.
The 25-year-old employee of Garden Affairs Ltd was erecting a large wooden summerhouse when, as he stepped onto a tower scaffold, it slid on wet decking and fell off the edge. This caused him to overbalance and fall two metres, hitting the decking before landing on the ground.
The employee was unable to work for over a month after sustaining fractures to his lower back, extensive bruising and impact injuries to his left hip, pelvis, and right elbow.
What was the outcome?
A court found that Garden Affairs Ltd had failed to ensure that fall prevention or fall mitigation measures had been put in place to protect their workers. Additionally, the scaffolds hadn’t been tied to the structure for stability, and handrails hadn’t been fitted despite them being readily available.
The Trowbridge based company admitted a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, and has been fined £5,000, as well as being ordered to pay both £468 in costs and £750 in compensation.
HSE Inspector James Powell said:
“Falls are the biggest cause of death in the construction industry,
accounting for 23 fatalities last year (April 2012- March 2013).
Employers need to ensure that the risks of falling from
height are identified and managed.
“Poor handling of tower scaffolds also causes a number of injuries and deaths.
In this instance, they were not secure and safety features were missing,
rendering them unsafe.”