Bedfordshire Council sentenced after worker falls from height

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An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the Bedfordshire Council did not have a risk assessment or safe system for working at height in place to retrieve items from the roof

Luton Magistrates’ Court heard how on 19 December 2017, the injured person was climbing on to the roof of a school from a stepladder to retrieve a child’s shoe when he fell.

When he fell from height, the worker sustained eight broken ribs, a grade four lacerated liver and a punctured lung.

Central Bedfordshire Council pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 (1) of Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £9,308.00 with £7,699.32 costs.

Most common causes of work-related fatalities

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector, Rubeena Surnam, said: “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.

“Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers. If a safe system of work had been in place prior to the incident, the serious injuries sustained by the employee could have been prevented.”

Regulation 4 (1) of Work at Height Regulations 2005

  1. Every employer shall ensure that work at height is—
    1. properly planned;
    2. appropriately supervised; and
    3. carried out in a manner which is so far as is reasonably practicable safe, and that its planning includes the selection of work equipment in accordance with regulation 7.

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