Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities and injuries in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well-known
A timber company has been fined £80,000 after an employee fell through a stairwell while working on a barn conversion.
The driver and warehouse operative was working on the barn which was being converted for rental use, at the company’s address in May 2018.
He was trying to access the first floor of the barn from exterior scaffolding and jumped onto a piece of insulation which was covering a stairwell. The insulation gave way and the worker fractured two vertebrae in the fall.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the work was not properly planned, appropriately supervised, or carried out in a safe manner when the incident occurred. The company had a duty to control how the work was carried out, including staff supervision.
The timber company pleaded guilty to breaching the Work at Height Regulations SI 2005/735, was fined £80,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,331. The company were also ordered to pay a £170 victim surcharge.
The worker’s injuries were serious and this incident could have been avoided if basic safeguards had been put in place.