£65k fines for two companies following subcontractor fall from height
22nd June 2018
At the beginning of June, Leeds Magistrates’ Court ruled that a scaffolding company and a contractor were required to pay a £65,000 fine as a result of significant safety failings that resulted in a worker falling from scaffolding.
The incident in question occurred in December 2015 and saw a subcontractor who had been installing solar panels on a roof in Brighouse, West Yorkshire. The worker slipped whilst on the roof and slid down to the edge protection; the toe board he fell against snapped, causing the worker to fall onto a sub-station flat roof.
Suffering from life changing injuries, the sub-contractor sustained a fractured spine, a broken coccyx and nerve damage. These injuries led to a three-month hospital stay and the inability for the sub-contractor to now work due to mobility issues caused as a result of the accident.
Following an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) it was found that the scaffolding company had failed to adequately erect the scaffold in accordance with TG20:13. In addition to this, it was also determined that the contractor had not taken the correct measures to prevent workers from falling through fragile roof lights.
Both companies pleaded guilty for breaching health and safety regulations. The scaffolding company was fined £28,000, whilst the contractor has been fined £33,500, both companies were also required to pay £945.20 each in costs.
This case highlights the necessity of effective scaffolding safety procedures to be put in place to significantly reduce the risk of an accident such as this, that has ultimately impacted a worker for the rest of his life.