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A signage company based in Yorkshire has been fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of over £1500 after one of their workers fell five metres from a flat roof while attempting to erect a large sign.

Chesterfield Magistrates Court heard how Sheffield-based Warburton Signs Ltd had been contracted to install a large sign to the gable end of an industrial building. Three of their sign-fitters accessed a neighbouring flat roof to fit the sign when tragically one of the men fell to the ground 5 metres below. He sustained life-threatening injuries including a fractured skull, several broken ribs, a chipped vertebra and a collapsed lung.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found that no measures had been put in place to prevent the fall from height – a clear breach of the Working at Height Regulations 2005, and hence the company were fined a significant sum. HSE Inspector Helen Barley said of the incident: “Failure to prevent falls when working at height can lead to serious injury or death.”

According to the HSE, managing work at height follows a hierarchy of controls; avoid, prevent, arrest, but the first question should always be; Can the work be done safely from the ground?

Assessing work at height – assess the risks, take precautions, and issue clear method statements for everyone who will work at height

Roof work – Plan safe access, and prevent falls from edges and openings

Fragile Surfaces – avoid, control, communicate and co-operate

Ladders – the three key safety issues: position, condition, and safe use

Tower Scaffolds – select the correct tower for the job, erect, use, move and dismantle safely; ensure that it is stable, and inspect it regularly.

Have you been injured at work?

If you have been injured during your employment you might be entitled to make a claim for compensation. All employers have a duty to protect their workers from injury and to have in place procedures, training and equipment to minimise the risks of anyone being injured. If you have been hurt and it can be proved that your employer was negligent in their responsibility to keep you safe, you could be entitled to a payout. Contact our solicitors today to find out if you can claim, and if so, how much your claim could be worth.