Building firm fined £20,000 after worker falls from height

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Hamblett Building Services has been fined £20,000 after a worker fell through an unprotected skylight opening whilst working from height

The employee fell around three and a half metres through the unprotected skylight opening whilst working from height attaching lathes to a roof in preparation for tiling.

According to Heightsafe, data from four of the UK’s most high-profile construction projects has indicated that 11% of reported health and safety incidents are related to working at height.

Coventry Magistrates’ Court heard how on 6 June 2018 a self-employed worker for Hamblett Building Services Ltd at a site in Kenilworth was injured when he fell through an unprotected skylight opening whilst attaching lathes to a roof in preparation for tiling. They sustained multiple fractures which the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says could have resulted in a fatality.

An investigation by the HSE into the incident found that skylight openings on this and other roofs on site had no collective or personal edge protection and that there was no scaffold or edge protection on the roof shared with neighbouring properties. Where there was scaffold on site, there were unprotected openings on working platforms increasing the risk of falls from the scaffold.

Hamblett Building Services pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company has been fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,078.

Speaking after the case, HSE inspector Tony Mitchell, commented: “The risks associated from falls from height whilst working on a roof are widely known throughout the building industry.

“Failing to protect workers from this risk is inexcusable. Simple safety measures could have prevented this incident and the injuries to the worker.”

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