Double prosecution following worker's fall from height highlights the need for workplace training
20 May 2019
News this month of two construction companies being fined and sentenced for safety breaches has underlined the need for training in the workplace.
Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 4 January 2016, Brian Robinson was working as a sheeter cladder at a Weiser Construction Ltd site at the John Cotton factory in Mirfield, West Yorkshire. He was on a factory roof affixing sheet metal cladding and capping to the gable end of an adjoining building. Whilst tying the cappings to the roof, Mr Robinson fell through a roof light 9.7m into the active factory area below. He suffered an open fracture to his femur and multiple fractures to his pelvis.
Both Weiser Construction Ltd and Complete Cladding Systems Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and were fined £145,000 with £5,046.30 costs, and £165,000 with £5,114.49 costs respectively.
Matthew Gray, Operations Manager at Develop Training Ltd (DTL), said, "This is the latest in an all-too-frequent series of cases where people have been killed or injured because of inadequate precautions when working at height.
He continued, "Common themes crop up time and time again; fragile roofs and skylights in particular, and employers using contractors without effectively checking the contractor will themselves use safe systems of work. Almost every week there is a report of a death or serious injury of people working at height. Poor assessment of risk, and inadequate control measures, continue to lead to hundreds of shattered lives."
DTL has produced a handy pocket guide to raise awareness of the factors managers, employees and contractors should consider before commencing working at height.
Click here to download DTL's handy pocket guide to Working at Height