A Yorkshire roofing company was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,355 after one of their employees fractured his skull falling from a roof he was working on.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive discovered that there was no risk assessment in place for the work, and no precautions had been taken to prevent falls from the roof or through the various fragile elements within the roof. It transpires that the company had previously clad a new building on the site without any issues, using appropriate precautions, but then failed to implement any kind of safety strategy for the seemingly minor additional job.
HSE Inspector Julian Franklin said: “Basic precautions for roof work and better planning of the job should have been applied. Even short duration work on fragile roofs should be properly assessed and managed”. Mitchell Roofing Ltd of Derwent Road, Malton was found guilty of breaching sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
Falls from height are the highest cause of fatal injury in the workplace with around 80 major injuries each year, resulting in a further 230 over 3-day absence injuries each year. 20% of fatal accidents in the workplace are as a result of falls from height – and don’t think that a short fall won’t hurt or kill you; a fall from less than 2 metres can be all it takes.
In many cases when a person falls from height it is due to a lack a suitable risk assessment having taken place. All operations including working at height require risk assessment and proper management of the risks identified, and if possible the need for working at height should be designed out.
Where falls take place
HSE analysis of 150 falls from height indicated that ladders (40%) were the most common place for injuries to occur, followed by:
- Vehicles (including fork lift trucks) 17%
- Machinery / Plant: 10%
- Platforms: 10%
- Stairs: 8%
- Roofs / False Ceilings: 7%
- Scaffolding: 4:
- Warehouse Racking 4%
Have you fallen from height?
If you have fallen from height during your employment you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation. Whether your injury was slight or severe, there shouldn’t have been an opportunity for the fall to take place – the risk should have been assessed and the danger eliminated. Contact our solicitors today to find out if we can help you claim the compensation you deserve.