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Bradford firm fined after worker fell through skylight

30th August 2016

The incident occurred back in June 2014 and involved one of its employees falling through a rooftop skylight.

The sign fitter, along with another colleague, was on the roof covering skylights with blackout vinyl in a bid to reduce temperatures in the factory below. Unfortunately, the 43 year old fell 5.5m (approximately 18ft) through a fragile roof light onto the floor of the fabrication department. Sadly he died instantly from head injuries.

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The investigation found that the two employees weren’t adequately supervised. They were on the roof for a period of time with no safety measures in place to prevent falling through the fragile roof materials or off the edge of the roof to the ground below.

According to the Health and Safety Executive who were prosecuting the organisation a number of opportunities were missed by different managers to stop the two employees from going ahead and working on the rooftop without the appropriate safety measures or supervision in place.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £120,000with £37,655costs by Bradford Crown Court.

The case is another example of the dangers of working at height. Falls from height are all too common and falls from roofs are still one of the highest causes of fatal accidents and work-related deaths in Britain. On an almost daily basis, we see news of falls through fragile materials, which, at the very least, often result in serious life-changing injury and the frustrating fact is, that these incidents are usually very simple to prevent.

This tragic accident serves to highlight the importance of using individuals who have relevant training to work at height as well as the importance of taking appropriate safety measures, using safety equipment and ensuring the adequate supervision of employees working at height on any project.