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LANDLORD FINED OVER ROOF REPAIR FALL

Fall and failure to report injury to lands firm in court

Instruments & Gauges Electronics Ltd has been fined after an employee sustained serious injuries when he fell some 4m from a bungalow roof in March 2014. The employee fractured his skull and back, and broke several ribs in the incident.

Sefton Magistrates heard (26 Mar) that the company specialises in manufacturing and repairing electrical test equipment but that its managing director is also the landlord for several homes.

The employee was asked to repair a broken ridge tile on the roof of a bungalow in Southport. He used his ladder to reach the flat roof on a conservatory at the back of the property.

The worker pulled the ladder up onto the conservatory roof and used it to reach the tile at the top of the bungalow roof. Whilst doing so he fell and was was found on the ground by the tenant, who called for an ambulance. He was in the high dependency unit at the hospital for a week before being transferred to a normal ward, and was off work for 19 weeks as a result of his injuries.

Work on the roof not planned or supervised

The HSE investigation found the work on the roof had not been planned or supervised and the worker had not been given suitable equipment, such as scaffolding or a harness.

The company also failed to report the incident to HSE despite this being a legal requirement when workers suffer a serious injury.

Instruments & Gauges Electronics Ltd, of Banks, was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £961 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Jackie Western said:

“One of the company’s employees has suffered serious injuries that may well affect him for the rest of his life because his employer ignored its legal duty to make sure he stayed safe.

Falls from height are the most common cause of deaths and serious injuries in the construction industry. The work to repair the ridge tile should have been planned properly but instead the employee was allowed to climb up to the roof without suitable equipment.

Instruments & Gauges Electronics should have made sure the work was carried out safely or, better still, hired a specialist roofing firm that knew what it was doing.”

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