Fall at Work

A builder was last week fined after an employee fell more than three metres through a garage roof.

The employee was helping clear the roof of a garage when he fell, fracturing two ribs, his sternum, several bones in his back and sustaining serious internal injuries.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation showed that the employer had inadequately planned the operation. There was no protection to prevent the workers from falling and the platforms they were working on were inadequate. The employer pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

The HSE, speaking after the hearing, remind us that;

“Falls from height are the biggest killer at work and roofers account for almost a quarter of these deaths. Falls through fragile materials, such as cement roofs, account for more of these deaths than any other single cause.

This high-hazard work should be properly planned and undertaken by trained and competent staff, with appropriate fall prevention equipment.”

The legal obligations of employers in relation to working at height are well documented within this blog. In particular, the Work at Height Regulations 2005 are in place to protect employees from incidents of this nature. Sadly, the laws and regulations in place are not always complied with and this case illustrates how serious a fall at work, even from a relatively modest height, can be.

If you have been injured as a result of an accident at work, please contact Gregory Abrams Davidson LLP who specialise in Employers Liability law and can advise you.