A Blackburn-based warehouse owner has been fined after a roofing contractor fell approximately 30 feet through a glass skylight on a warehouse roof and suffered life-changing injuries.
Preston Crown Court heard that a roofing contractor was employed by Floors ‘n’ Carpets Ltd to over-clad the existing roof. On 14 May 2020, one of the contractors fell through the roof sustaining serious injuries to his pelvis, arm, knee, and face and has undergone extensive surgery since.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Floors ‘n’ Carpets Ltd ‘failed to undertake due diligence checks’ on the roofing contractor’s documents and ensure a construction phase plan was prepared prior to work commencing. The owner of Floor ‘n’ Carpets Ltd had previously pleaded guilty to failing to adequately plan the work and provide coverings or underslung nets to prevent or mitigate a fall through the fragile roof. The owner had not completed any health and safety training and did not adequately train the operatives he employed.
The Company pleaded guilty to a breach of Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £96,000 and ordered to pay costs of £36,919.75.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Jackie Western, said:
“The risks from working at height are well known. Those with control of work at height have a duty to ensure safe methods of working, which should include ensuring the use of suitable work equipment and adequate supervision.”
Although this case was prosecuted under Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, it highlights a wider issue, which is the importance of selecting and managing competent contractors including the need to request and check supporting documents such as qualifications, insurance, registrations and health and safety documentation. It is also important for employers to plan work effectively, communicate all relevant health and safety information and to act if a contractor is seen to not be working as per their method statement or behaving dangerously.
If you are an employer and have any concerns about managing contractors or any other health and safety issue, contact us on 01942 727200 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and speak to one of our Health & Safety Consultants for an initial consultation without charge or obligation.