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Manchester Firm Fined after Worker’s Fall from Height

A Manchester based company responsible for the manufacture and installation of conservatory roofs has been fined after a worker was injured in a fall from height.

Incident

Two employees of Phil Coppell Ltd had been carrying out repair work on a conservatory roof at a residential property in Newton le Willows when the incident occurred in June 2015.

The employee in question was working on the roof alone when he lost his balance and fell around 2.5 meters onto a patio area below. He suffered a fractured skull which led to a bleed on his brain following the fall. The 59 year old worker from Bolton also suffered a shattered eye socket.

HSE investigation

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the incident and found that there no preventative measures were in place to avoid a fall from height. HSE subsequently issued an Improvement Notice and the company has since developed a barrier to be used as edge protection during work at height.

Previous incidents

Manchester and Salford Magistrates Court heard that this was not the first incident of its kind involving employees of Phil Coppell Ltd and fall from height. The company was also prosecuted for serious safety failings after the same employee fell off a roof and lost consciousness in 2013. They were also prosecuted for failing to report an incident after another employee fell through a skylight in 2013, suffering multiple broken ribs.

Sentencing

Phil Coppell Ltd of Cemetery Road, Radcliffe, Greater Manchester pleaded guilty to a breach of Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company also pleaded guilty to breaches of Regulation 3(1) of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995, and Regulation 4(1) of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013. The firm was fined a total of £40,280 and ordered to pay costs of £1,464.70.

HSE inspector Christine McGlynn said after the hearing:

“This incident could have been avoided if the company had learnt lessons from two previous similar incidents in 2013. The risks of working from height are well known and there is plenty of guidance available.

“Employees of this company were exposed to the risks of falls over a prolonged period of time. Generally work of this nature is at the rear of premises and is not visible or easy to monitor, however this prosecution should highlight, in particular to other companies who carry out work on conservatory roofs, that they should have in place control measures to prevent the risk of falls”

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