Two companies in court over worker's injury
Two Sheffield firms have been fined after a worker fell through a fragile rooflight while removing asbestos at the city's now-demolished college.
The worker broke his arm after falling three and a half metres from a flat roof to the ground below. He needed surgery to insert a plate into his arm following the incident.
He was part of a team stripping asbestos from a College before its planned demolition and re-build, and was working on a former teaching block when the incident happened.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted both employers and the principal contractor for the project, who were responsible for access to the roof.
After the incident, the remaining ten rooflights on the flat roof were boarded over, making them safe. The court heard this should have been done prior to any work starting on the roof.
The company was fined £15,000 with £5,179.90 costs for failing to provide suitable protection for any fragile surfaces on the roof. The contractor was fined £3,000 with £2,000 costs for the same offence. Both companies pleaded guilty.
HSE Inspector said:
"This was an obvious and known risk, and one that should have been dealt with before any work went ahead. Falls from height are the most common cause of fatal injuries in the workplace and are also responsible for many serious injuries. The control measures needed to avert these risks are cheap and simple and widely-known throughout the construction industry.”
Falls from height remain the most common cause of workplace injuries. In 2008/09 there were 35 fatalities, 4,654 major injuries and a further 7,065 injuries that caused the injured person to be off work for three days or more, due to a fall from height.