Two construction firms fined after employee falls from height

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Two companies have been fined a combined £194,000 after an employee of a construction firm fell through a roof onto a concrete floor

Lincoln Magistrates’ Court heard how on 23  January 2018 an employee of Italian construction firm Zamperoni F.lli srl was refurbishing a shed structure at casting company Bifrangi UK, Lincoln.

As the man worked on the roof he stepped away from the metal sheeting he was standing on, onto a fragile roof light. The plastic material broke under his weight and he fell 5.44 metres to the ground. He sustained two broken arms and three broken ribs.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed both construction firms failed to risk assess and plan all aspects of the construction work on site, and failed to ensure the risks from the fragile roof lights were adequately controlled. Both companies also failed to ensure there was adequate safe access onto the roof of the shed. There was inadequate supervision and management checks throughout the work. They also failed to act on the previous instances of unsafe work to ensure safety.

Bifrangi UK pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act and was fined £140,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,607.

Zamperoni F.lli srl was not present in court, but in its absence was fined £54,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,240.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Martin Giles, commented: “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.

“In this case the use of simple protective measures to prevent falls from and through the fragile roof light would have prevented the injury to this worker. Contractors working in host employers’ premises require adequate supervision and controls to ensure that they are working safely.”

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