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The Health and Safety Executive has prosecuted a company whose employee fell 8 metres from a building while at work.
The 22-year-old man, who does not want to be identified, was helping fit flue lining inside the chimney of a house where there was a wood burning stove being installed in December 2012.
Westminster Magistrates’ Court was told that the man was rested on a pair of access ladders held against the building as he was trying to pull together a further set of roof ladders in order to reach the chimney. The first set of ladders was not long enough to reach past the guttering of the house and there was nothing for the trainee to step off onto. He lost his balance as the roof ladders’ weight pulled him to the ground with nothing to hold onto to break or prevent his fall.
He suffered multiple injuries including a broken ankle and wrist, a fractured pelvis and two vertebrae.
Upon investigation from the HSE, it was discovered that the length of the access ladders had made the job unsafe. The HSE Inspector said that it was clear that the company had not put into place any plans for the work with any considerations of the specific area where work was taking place. He also said that there was plenty of information and ancillary tools available on how to use ladders safely
“If used correctly, access and roof ladders can provide safe access to chimneys. However, this one could not clear the guttering, which led to this entirely preventable incident and a trainee worker suffering serious injuries. It is only a matter of good fortune that these injuries were not fatal.” said the HSE Inspector.
The company who employed the man, from Rickmansworth, were found to be breaching a number of health and safety regulations, including Working at Height regulations 2005. The company from Highbury in London was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay £5,840 in costs.
One of the major causes of fatal accidents in the workplace are falls from height, according to numerous sources. Some of the latest information from the HSE reveal that in 2011/12 over 3,400 were seriously injured after falling from a height and 40 proved fatal.
Jefferies Solicitors is a team of personal injury lawyers who works with many clients on workplace accident compensation claims, including falls from heights. We often work on a no win no fee* basis and are available if you want to talk confidentially about your potential case. Please call us for an initial discussion on 0800 342 3206.
If you have experienced an accident at work or been injured in the workplace that was not your fault, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
Contact Jefferies personal injury lawyers on our national accident helpline above or complete our quick claim form and one of our team of specialists will be in touch to advise you on your prospects of making a successful claim.
Published 11th February 2015.