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Workman fined for friend’s fall through roof

Posted in: Employer Negligence Workplace Injuries 

A self-employed maintenance worker has been fined after a friend, who was helping him on a job, fell through the roof of a disused factory.

The injured man, in his forties, suffered a broken elbow when he fell three metres through the asbestos cement roof at a disused rubber factory in the Forest of Dean.

HSE found that the maintenance worker, who was employed to dismantle the roof of the building, did not plan the work properly or have any safety equipment in place that might prevent or mitigate the effects of a fall.

A ladder was used to gain access but the work could have been done safely from a cherry picker lift or scaffold tower. No guard rails were provided around the roof to prevent falls.

He pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £1,250 and ordered to pay £1,000 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Sue Adsett said:

“Falls from height are the single biggest cause of deaths and serious injury in the construction industry but proper planning and simple precautions, such as working from platforms below when possible and using edge protection, can reduce the risks.

The latest HSE statistics show that 40 workers were killed and more than 3,400 were seriously injured in falls from height in 2011/12.


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