A specialist building contractor was seriously injured after falling through a skylight while working on one of London’s leading exhibition centres.
London exhibition venue firm, The Business Design Centre Ltd, along with a building contractor acting on behalf of the firm, were fined for safety failings after the incident.
Skylights were ‘fragile’
Both workers and contractors had been allowed to cross the unsafe roof on a number of separate occasions, Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard.
The roof section in question had three fragile skylights and open edges.
James Murphy, 64, had been appointed by The Business Design Centre Ltd to undertake the repair work at the site. It was Mr Murphy who led the specialist contractor over the unsafe roof in May 2015.
Whilst walking across the roof, the contractor fell through one of the fragile skylights.
He fell around 5.5 metres, shattering his pelvis on impact. He also suffered a broken wrist and a broken elbow.
Roof was not made safe
The Business Design Centre had failed to provide suitable and safe access to and from the roof, the investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found.
The firm had also failed to include sufficient safety measures to protect against the risks of falling from height.
James Murphy was also judged to have failed to ensure the job of accessing and inspecting the roof was properly planned.
The Business Design Centre Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was fined £300,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2925,56.
James Murphy pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1)(a) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, and was fined £4,000 and also ordered to pay costs of £2925.56
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: October 21, 2016
Author: Jonathan Brown