A Chesterfield-based construction company has pleaded guilty following a subcontractor’s 2019 fall from height.
The incident occurred as work was carried out on a roof at a domestic extension in Nottingham. The victim, a subcontractor, had been hired to complete work on the roof of an extension which contained a skylight and wooden joists. The roof was accessed via a ladder, which then led to an unprotected trestle platform. The subcontractor was sitting astride one of the joists when it gave way, causing him to fall onto the concrete floor below, sustaining life changing injuries, including a brain trauma and broken neck.
An investigation carried out by the HSE found that the construction company who had hired the subcontractor had failed to adequately consider the associated risks or to properly plan the work. The trestle platforms did not have suitable edge protection, and there were no other fall mitigation measures in place (e.g. airbags). Furthermore, it was found that work was being carried out unsupervised, a key role that could have identified the unsafe nature of the work prior to the accident occurring.
The construction company was found guilty of breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, and fined £8,000 plus £3,515 in costs.
Speaking at the hearing Phill Gratton, HSE Inspector, stated:
“This was a tragic and wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the host company to implement safe systems of work, and failure to ensure that work at height was properly planned and appropriately supervised.
This risk was further amplified by the company’s failure to undertake a number of simple safety measures including conducting pre-start checks on the training of workers, planning work to ensure that working methods were safe, and supervision to ensure that dangerous working methods could be observed and challenged.”
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