A stone quarrying company in Portland has been fined for safety breaches after a worker fell more than four metres onto a concrete floor, suffering a broken hip and head injuries, while replacing roof lights on a fragile roof.
Weymouth Magistrates’ Court heard that the 50-year-old employee, from Weymouth, who does not wish to be identified, was on the fragile roof of Portland Stone Firm’s main depot in Easton Street when the incident happened on 16 August 2012.
He was using a ladder and the roof purlins to gain access to the work site because the cherry picker he usually used had been removed from the site by the company.
While replacing a light, he stepped back off the roof purlins and fell 4.5 metres through the fragile roof and onto the concrete floor inside the building. He sustained a large gash to the back of his head and broke part of his hip bone. He had to undergo a number of hip operations and later lost his job with the company.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the planning and supervision of the work was inadequate, suitable equipment was not provided and Portland Stone Firms Ltd failed to ensure a safe system of work.
HSE told the court that safety measures such as working platforms fitted with guardrails, proper crawling boards, edge protection around the perimeter of the roof, safety nets under the roof or a harness system to mitigate any fall should have been put in place by the company.
Portland Stone Firms Limited of Easton Street, Portland, Dorset pleaded guilty to two breaches of health and safety law including a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined a total of £20,000 and ordered to pay £18,992 costs. Source - HSE Website
Falls from height remain one of the most common reasons for injuries and fatalities at work. If your company undertakes work at height then Charter Health and Safety Solutions can provide advice and assistance in complying with your duties under the Work at Height Regulations 2005.