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FIRM FAILED TO PLAN FOR FRAGILE ROOFLIGHTS RISK

Contractor prosecuted after fall leaves workman unable to resume work

Tower Hire (Services) Ltd has been ordered to pay over £14,000 in fines and prosecution costs after workman was seriously injured when he fell more than 5m through a fragile roof on Worcester building site.

The 27-year-old man was fixing scaffolding to the roof of commercial premises in October 2009 when he stood on a rooflight which fractured and he fell to the floor below. He suffered multiple fractures and has been able to return to work.

Tower Hire (Services) Ltd provided no information or training on how to recognise fragile roofs or on the risks involved with working on or near fragile materials.

Workman left to plan work alone

Tower Hire (Services) Ltd, of Southport Road, Chorley, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay £6,644 costs.

HSE inspector Paul Humphries said:

“Tower Hire Services left the labourers to plan how to do most of the job themselves and as a result, one of the company’s employees was seriously injured in an entirely avoidable incident that could have been fatal.

When falling from height remains the biggest cause of deaths within the construction industry, it is unforgivable that this firm failed to undertake a suitable and sufficient risk assessment or method statement for the work.

Any company planning to carry out work at height needs to take proper precautions to prevent incidents of this kind from happening. HSE guidance is freely available online, so there is no excuse.”

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