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LADDER SAFETY FAILURES ATTRACT MASSIVE FINE

National window firm left workers to ‘own devices’

Safestyle UK has been fine £850,000 after a workman fell from a ladder sustaining a fracture to his lower leg in March 2017 in Doncaster.

Sheffield Magistrates heard how the window installer was installing a first-floor rear bedroom window at a property when the ladder he was climbing slipped.

The ladder was not footed or tied and the workman fell from a height of over 3m thereby causing a broken knee cap which required surgery.

Inadequate systems for planning and monitoring work at height

HOME WHERE WORKMAN FELL

HSE investigators found the company system for planning work at height to be inadequate in that it failed to ensure that work was carried out in a safe manner.

Windows were not routinely installed from the inside and ladders were used in a way that constituted serious risk.

Additionally, there was no system of monitoring or supervision in place and operatives were “left to their own devices”.

  • Safestyle UK (H.P.A.S. Limited T/A) – of Style House, Eldon Place, Bradford, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of The Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £850,000 with £1,083 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Stuart Whitesmith said:

“This incident could easily have been prevented had the company implemented reasonably practicable precautions.

Such precautions include having effective and enforced safe systems of work, whereby windows are installed internally where possible, or by using suitable access solutions which provide edge protection, and having a formal system in place to ensure works are appropriately supervised.’’

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