A worker suffered multiple injuries in a fall from height while carrying out roof repair work at a property in London.
The man shattered his elbow and broke his jaw in the incident in February 2014, while he also sustained tissue damage to his knee and a facial injury.
His employer, Aspect Maintenance Services Limited, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
No edge protection
Southwark Crown Court heard how the man was working as a roofing engineer on a domestic house in Tooting. He was repairing the roof when he slipped and fell, landing on a table on the patio area below.
The HSE’s investigation discovered there was no edge protection on the roof at the time of the accident. It concluded that the company had failed to ensure that the roof work was properly planned, appropriately supervised and carried out in a manner which was, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe.
Aspect Maintenance Services Limited, of Rufus Business Centre, Ravensbury Terrace, London, pleaded guilty to an offence under Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. It was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,735.
Need for risk assessment
All work on roofs should be sufficiently risk assessed before any work is carried out, said HSE Inspector Gavin Pugh. This case is an example of how not to go about working at height, the dangers of which are well known.
A suitable risk assessment carried out before the work was due to start could have prevented the accident at work from happening, or at least minimised the impact of the devastating fall from height.
Speaking after the hearing, Mr Pugh declared edge protection or other equally effective safety measures, such as harnesses and warning signs, should be in place for anything other than very short-term work.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: October 6, 2015
Author: Jonathan Brown