17th April 2017
A Kent haulage company has been sentenced after an employee fell from a height of four and a half metres through a sky light onto a concrete floor while cleaning a roof.
The cleaning, undertaken by two drivers, took place on the weekend of the 17 and 18 January 2015.
A Mobile Elevated Work Platform (MEWP) was hired for the cleaning, but when one of the drivers could not reach a section of the roof from the MEWP he got out and stood on the roof.
After some time cleaning, the driver noticed a section of roof left uncleaned and while walking along a section of the roof he fell through a skylight. He landed on a concrete floor 4.5 metres below. The fall caused the man to spend a month in hospital sustaining significant injuries to his skull with multiple facial fractures. He also suffered damage to bones in both arms which needed pins and plates.
Falling from height
HSE prosecuted the company for its failure to ensure that work at height was properly planned, appropriately supervised and carried out in a manner which was safe, so far as reasonably practicable.
The court heard neither worker had received training regarding the use of the MEWP, no edge protection was in place around the roof edges to prevent falls from height, no harness or netting was used to minimise the distance or consequences of a fall and the fragile roof lights were not covered or edge protected.
Erith Haulage Company Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of The Work at Height Regulations 2005, and was fined £215,000 with costs.