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Two companies have been fined for health and safety breaches after the director of one of the firms fell through the other company’s roof. Bournemouth magistrates court heard that while the director of an access firm was attending a gutter cleaning job at the premises of a technology company, he fell approximately 15 feet through a plastic skylight resulting in two broken wrists, a broken elbow and cuts to his face.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found that the access company had failed to ensure that work at height was properly planned or safely carried out. It was found that the client; the technology company, had failed to provide the access company with adequate information about the associated risks they would be exposed to when undertaking the work.

The HSE inspector said “Working on roofs is a high risk activity because it involves working at height. Falls through fragile materials, such as roof lights and asbestos cement roofing sheets account for more deaths as a result of falls than any other single cause. The risks of working on fragile roofs are well-known, but so too are the ways to manage those risks, and all parties involved with work on fragile roofs must ensure the work is correctly planned and managed to ensure the safety of all involved.”

This case goes to show the importance of communication between all parties when dealing with dangerous situations. By ensuring proper planning of jobs and discussion among all of those involved, the risks of injury can be minimised. Accidents do happen, but their frequency can be reduced and the outcomes improved if all reasonable risks are identified and managed appropriately.

If you are not satisfied with the health and safety management of your employers you should bring it to their attention. If they fail to listen or address the points you raise it could be worth speaking with someone from the Health and Safety Executive. If it is too late for that and you, or someone you know has been injured as a result of health and safety failings it your work, then it could be the right time to contact one of our solicitors. We have a great deal of experience in dealing with these kinds of cases and will we’ll quickly be able to tell you if you have a claim, and if so how much it could be worth.