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Security firm prosecuted after employee’s fall

A security firm based in Essex has been in court after one of its maintenance engineers fell over three metres through fragile ceiling tiles.

What happened?

The engineer had been instructed to fix a faulty roller shutter door, and was attempting to access an electrical control panel in a ceiling void.

He used a ladder supported by a colleague to access the void, then walked across the ceiling panels which were attached directly to the underside of timber joists, using a wooden ply board as a work platform.

After carrying out the work, the ceiling gave way beneath him and he fell onto the floor below, sustaining a fractured elbow and ankle.

An investigation into the incident found that the firm did not have satisfactory risk assessment in place for undertaking work at eight on site.

What was the outcome?

Security Door Systems Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005, and was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay costs of £440.

HSE Inspector, Corinne Godfrey, said:

“Security Door Systems was a regular contractor at that site but failed
to carry out an adequate risk assessment that identified the
fragile ceiling surface and the need to work above it.

“And in turn, they failed to implement measures to prevent falls
through fragile ceiling surface when work was being
undertaken in the void.

“It was luck rather than good management that someone
had not fallen before.

“Incidents involving falls through fragile roofs are unfortunately
all too common. Employers have responsibility to ensure that
suitable risk assessments are undertaken for work at
height, and to make sure that robust and safe
systems of work are implemented.

“This engineer was very fortunate not to have suffered far more serious
injuries, or indeed injure others as he fell to the ground.”

If you have been affected by an accident at work, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com

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