Editor, UBM

May 5, 2016

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Worker dies after falling from a five-storey building

A company has received a £100,000 fine after a worker died when he fell 14 metres from the roof of a five-storey building in Birmingham.

H20 Plumbing Services Ltd, a Birmingham maintenance company, was contracted to carry out repairs to two motor rooms on the roof of a building.

Birmingham Crown Court heard how on the 10 October 2014, due to a lack of space two workers set up a station immediately outside a protected area in which to mix some mortar.

The mixing station consisted of a tarpaulin sheet placed on top of the roof with a plasterer’s bath placed on top. The corner of the sheet were weighed down with bags of rubble.

When the employees were cleaning up, they moved the mixing bath and the tarpaulin was blown away and landed on the edge of the building.

As one of the workers attempted to retrieve the sheet, he stepped off the edge of the five-storey building and fell 14 metres, suffering fatal injuries.

An HSE investigation into the incident found that H20 Plumbing Services Limited failed to ensure the safety of its employees during the external repair work.

After the incident, HSE inspector Amy Kalay commented: “This incident was obviously foreseeable. The employees of H20 working at the site were effectively left to their own devices with equipment and a system that was not wholly suited for the task at hand.

“A suitable and sufficient assessment of the risk, suitable planning, implementation of suitable control measures and adequate and effective site supervision would have prevented this incident from occurring.”

H20 Plumbing Services Limited, of Lee Trading Estate, College Road, Perry Barr, Birmingham pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £25,000.

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