January 22, 2018

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In court

£100k fine in fall death case

A construction company has been fined after an employee died after falling over six metres.

Plymouth Magistrates’ Court heard how an employee of C & R Construction (SW) Ltd suffered fatal injuries after falling whilst carrying out work installing roof sheets on a new agricultural building.

The incident occurred on the 11 May 2016. Investigating, the Health and Safety Executive found a number of failures. The company failed to:

  • provide suitable edge protection
  • ensure there was a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks from the use of the edge protection
  • ensure those installing the edge protection and supervising the work had received adequate training.

Pleaded guilty

C & R Construction (SW) Ltd of Lower Park, Crediton, Devon pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 2 (1) of The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and have been fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £11,060.40.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Kate Leftly 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.” If suitable edge protection had been installed, the tragic death of this employee could have been prevented.”

Barbour download: Guide to working at height

Work at any height can cause injury; a fall from a height of just one or two steps can cause serious injury.

The Regulations were amended in 2007 to extend their application to those who work at height providing instruction or leadership to one or more people engaged in caving or climbing by way of sport, recreation, team building or similar activities in Great Britain.

Download your free guide from Barbour to understand: Duties of persons in control of work at height; Duties of persons undertaking work at height; General controls when working at height; Method statement for work at height; Selection of a means of access; Working platforms; Guardrails and toeboards; Ladders Mobile work platforms; Suspended access equipment; Personal suspension equipment and, Inspection of fall arrest equipment.

Barbour EHS

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Pete

So, this firm gets £100k fine for killing an employee, yet only 4 days earlier we see a report of an employee losing the tip of his right index finger in Blackburn and the company in breach is fined £120k. Is this really how much a human life is worth, £20,000 less than the tip of a finger?