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Builder Fractures Skull in Fall

July 8th, 2019

A Sheffield-based  property company has pleaded guilty to contravening Regulation 6 (3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and has been fined £30,000 and ordered to pay £1302.60 in costs, after a self-employed builder fell approximately seven metres when he was climbing down an untied and unsecured folding ladder.

Sheffield Magistrates’ Court heard how the injured party had been installing a flat rubber roof on a dormer extension at the back of the building when the accident happened on April 11 2018. The 34-year-old  sustained shattered heels and a fractured skull resulting in swelling and bleeding on the brain following the incident.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company had not completed any risk assessments or method statements or construction phase plan for this works, and the site operatives had not received any work at height training.

Speaking after the case,  Stuart Whitesmith, HSE inspector said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out the correct control measures and safe working practices. In this case, the builder suffered life-threatening injuries which could have been avoided by installing guardrails around the perimeter of the flat roof, with a gate and secured ladder access.”

Dave Burrows, Senior Consultant at SIMIAN commented, “Work at height is one of the most obvious risks faced by construction and refurbishment workers, and falls can often be prevented by simple planning and risk assessment processes. SIMIAN had no involvement with the case itself, or with any of those involved, but it seems that failure to consider the fundamentals of this kind of activity has had a life-changing impact on the injured party and this could very easily have been prevented.”

SIMIAN has a wealth of experience of advising clients on the most appropriate form of access for any given work situation and those requiring assistance should call 0345 602 2418, or email hello@simian-risk.com.


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