Poor management control puts workers at risk
A Blackburn logistics company has been fined after failing to provide fall protection for workers replacing the roof of its premises.
On 29 May 2019, HSE inspectors visited a warehouse in Blackburn and observed two workers on the roof without any physical protection or any work equipment in place to prevent or minimise the distance of a fall.
Further investigation by also found that the roof of the warehouse was fragile and the employees were at risk of coming through it.
The company, Speed Drop Logistics Ltd, did not have any measures in place to prevent workers falling from or through the roof from which they could suffer personal injury or even death. The removal of tiles should have been carried out from underneath the roof using a scissor lift or a cherry picker. Scaffold should have been in place to create a barrier against and to minimise the distance of a possible fall.
Speed Drop Logistics Ltd of Manner Sutton Street, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined £80,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1570.60.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Stuart Hadfield, 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. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standard.”
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.