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CLIENT HELD TO ACCOUNT FOR CONTRACTOR FALL

Inadequate information provided on hazards and roof risks

Two companies have been fined for safety failings after the director of one company fell through a skylight at the premises of the client company in July 2013.

Bournemouth Magistrates’ Court heard that Touch Access Limited (TAL) of Bournemouth attended the site of Beagle Technology Group Limited (BTGL) to clean out building roof gutters.

Whilst carrying out this work the company director of TAL lost his balance and fell through the skylight a distance of some 5m to the floor below. He sustained two broken wrists, a broken elbow, and cuts to his face.

HSE investigators found that TAL failed to ensure the work at height was properly planned and carried out safely. In addition, BGTL failed to provide TAL with adequate information on the hazards and associated risks they would be exposed to in undertaking the work.

All parties must ensure correct planning and management

Touch Access Limited, of Wordsworth Avenue, Bournemouth, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,144.

Beagle Technology Group Limited, of Stony Lane, Christchurch, Dorset, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and was fined £3,500 and ordered to pay costs of £1,144.

HSE inspector Damien Milbourne said after the hearing:

“Working on roofs is a high risk activity because it involves working at height. Falls through fragile materials, such as roof lights and asbestos cement roofing sheets, account for more deaths as a result of falling from height than any other single cause.

The risks of working on fragile roofs are well-known, but so too are the ways to manage those risks, and all parties involved with work on fragile roofs must ensure the work is correctly planned and managed to ensure the safety of all involved.”

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