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Falling off a roof – Accidents at Work do still occur!

It is surprising that with all the safety requirements that are needed in the 21st Century accidents at work do still occur, some very minor but some can be quite life changing. We all live very busy lives and are under pressure to meet targets. However, nothing should prevent an Employer from carrying out a risk assessment in order to try to prevent any accident from occurring.

In a recent report, two roofing companies were fined after a worker fell nine metres through a skylight onto concrete flooring below. The man suffered life-changing injuries and required surgery to install metal rods into his back. The Company were fined at Coventry Magistrate’s Court. At the time of the fall, on 15 December 2015, no nets or guardrails were  used. A Mobile Elevating Working Platform, which had been provided as an anchor point for the fall arrest equipment, did not have enough capacity. When he fell, the injured person did not have his harness attached to anything.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the principal contractors of the work, failed to have effective management systems in place to control the risk associated with working at height and on fragile roofing. Both Companies pleaded guilty and were fined. The case highlights the importance of proper planning, supervision and implementation of work at height especially on fragile roofing.

Melanie Neale a Personal Injury specialist at Hammersmith law firm Hubbard Pegman and Whitney (HPW) has had experience in dealing with cases involving Industrial Accidents and the devastating effects that it can cause to her clients. Melanie says ‘that it is surprising that these types of accidents are still occurring and it shows that the HSE are alert to these types of problems’.

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