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REFURB LADDER FALL INJURY REVEALS UNSAFE ROOFWORK

Workman suffered serious injury in 7m fall whilst accessing unguarded roof

R & G Construction Ltd has been prosecuted after workman fell from height whilst working on a major refurbishment project in the Belgravia area of London. The project included the construction of a basement and a roof replacement.

Magistrates heard that on the day of the incident the workman was required to access the roof by ladder. Whilst descending the ladder “fell away from the building” and he fell some 7m suffering a broken leg, heel and wrist. 

HSE investigators found work on the roof had earlier been carried out with scaffolding in place. However, the scaffolding was removed in the month before the accident. 

Fall safety equipment was used after the incident but this was deemed by HSE to be entirely inadequate, and workers remained at risk of falling from height.

Work at height must be assessed, planned and organised

R & G Construction Ltd of Harrow, London pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1)(a), Regulation 5 and Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £7,515.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Andrew Verrall-Withers said:

“This was an appalling and entirely preventable incident which has severely affected a young man’s life.

Companies have a duty to take steps to reduce risks and prevent falls using equipment such as guardrails and working platforms, or even nets and airbags if needs be.

If the company had properly planned and organised the work and sufficiently assessed the risks of working at height, along with the use of appropriate work equipment – the likelihood of this happening would have been much reduced.”

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