Leicester firm fined for height safety failings
A roofing company from Leicester has been prosecuted after one of its workers fell from a height of over three metres.
Nottingham Magistrates’ Court heard that Stormseal Roofing was at fault after the 59-year-old man fell through a light as he was repairing a damaged sheet of roofing.
The worker broke his left elbow and shoulder, as well as breaking his pelvis in the fall.
The resultant Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that usually, Stormseal's work methods would have seen safety netting below the roof. However, as the customer held stocks of tyres on the mezzanine level below, this was negated.
The HSE determined that an alternative safety precaution should have been used. Edge protection and personal protective equipment (PPE), such as safety harnesses, are often used in such conditions.
Edge protection had been used on the site, but this did not extend to the area where the worker was carrying out repairs.
The HSE also found that a risk assessment had taken place and that, whilst a method statement had been drawn up, it was insufficient. The HSE said it was tantamount to a series of generic documents. It had also been prepared by someone with no formal training.
Stormseal Roofing (Nationwide) Ltd, received a fine of £16,000 with costs amounting to £1,783 after it admitted to breaching the Work at Height Regulations.
Following the verdict, the HSE said that the risks that working at height presents are well known, which should have prevented the incident from taking place.
Falls are the biggest single cause of fatalities in the UK workplace.