Company Prosecuted After Worker’s Fall From Ladder


2 mins

Posted on 05 Apr 2015

A Birmingham shopfitting firm has been prosecuted for safety failings after a worker broke eight ribs in a ladder fall.

The worker was removing redundant electrical cabling and conduits within the factory’s roof space, working off one half of an extendable ladder footed by a colleague. He was using both hands to saw through a large section of pipe when he overbalanced and fell around 3.6 metres to the floor below.He broke eight ribs, five of them in three places, cut his head, broke a finger and suffered lacerations to his shin, knee and elbow.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found neither worker had any experience or training for work at height, and the equipment was not suitable for the task in hand. The company failed to organise, plan and appropriately supervise work at height.

The company was fined £7,000 and ordered to pay £1,198 costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

The HSE found that the company failed to effectively organise and plan the work, gave the workers an inadequate ladder to use rather than a more suitable aluminium tower and failed to appropriately supervise and monitor what was going on. 

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Ensure that the operators have suitable and sufficient training for work at height 
  • Ensure that a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks that operators are potentially exposed to whilst working at height are assessed and controls put in place
  • Ensure that all equipment if fit for purpose and suitable for the task
  • Ensure there is a documented safe system of work for the task being undertaken.
  • Further guidance on working at height can be found on the HSE website

    Doyle Clayton can support your business with providing health and safety advice, support and development of safe systems of work and risk assessments. Please contact Sally Beck for further information.

    The articles published on this website, current at the date of publication, are for reference purposes only. They do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your own circumstances should always be sought separately before taking any action.