A recent case regarding falls from height has resulted in a construction and design firm being fined for their safety failings. A man who was working in a kitchen fell three metres though an opening in a roof that wasn’t properly covered. The bricklayer, who asked not to be named, broke his wrist and his pelvis in the fall, and the investigation resulted in his employers being prosecuted.

Obscuring the Holes Led to Fall

The Case was taken to Guildford Magistrates Court on July 30. A carpenter on the site had recently finished installing new roof joints. He left two holes in the roof which were intended for lights which would be put in at a later date. The carpenter covered the hole with a blue plastic sheet and put some timber planks. The following day a team of bricklayers came on site and began to set out all of the materials they required for the days work. The bricklayer had climbed onto the build which still wasn’t completed when he fell through the hole for the skylight as he could not see it because of the blue plastic sheet.

The Health and Safety Executive investigated the accident which has resulted in the bricklayer still unable to return to work. The inspectors found that the company Bascomb and Drew had failed their employees and they had not safeguarded their safety due to the holes not being guarded properly and because they were covered. As a result the company were fined £13,000 and have to pay an additional £4,662 in costs.

Training Can Help to Avoid Accidents

Training for working at height and other common types of risky work in the construction industries is one way to reduce incidents like this from occurring. There are many excellent courses that will look at the Regulations and teach excellent skills such as risk assessments and control measures. One of the courses to consider is the SSSTS, the SMSTS training or the one day Health and Safety Awareness course from the CITB. You can find out more about these courses by getting in touch with our helpful advisors. Call us on 0844 576 6750 for help and advice.