Assistant Editor, Safety & Health Practitioner

August 7, 2019

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In court

Two construction companies fined for fall from roof light

Two firms have been fined after an employee of a construction company fell through a roof light onto a concrete floor.

On 23 January 2018, an employee of Zamperoni F.Iii srl, an Italian construction company, was refurbishing a shed structure at Bifrangi UK, a casting company.

The employee was standing on a metal sheeting and then stepped backwards onto a fragile roof light. The employee fell 5.44 metres as the plastic material broke under him.

The employee was inflicted with two broken arms and three broken ribs.

An HSE investigation found numerous breaches by both companies. It was revealed that no risk assessment was carried out to plan all aspects of the construction work onsite and failed to ensure the risks from the fragile roof lights were adequately controlled.

Both companies also failed to ensure there was adequate safe access onto the roof of the shed, there was inadequate supervision and management checks throughout the work and finally, they failed to act on previous cases of unsafe work to ensure safety.

Bifrangi UK of Shardlow Works, Grange Mill Lane, Sheffield pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and was fined £140,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,607.

Zamperoni F.lli srl of Via Strada Muson, Italy was not present in court, but in its absence was fined £54,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,240.

Speaking after the hearing, Martin Giles HSE Inspector, said: “Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well known.

“In this case the use of simple protective measures to prevent falls from and through the fragile roof light would have prevented the injury to this worker. Contractors working in host employers’ premises require adequate supervision and controls to ensure that they are working safely.”

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