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News / Company fined after fatal fall through factory skylight

29 September 2016

A Somerset company has been fined £210,000 with costs of over £36,000 after a maintenance worker died following a fall through a factory skylight.

The company’s maintenance workers regularly went onto the roofs for a number of tasks, but they did so without proper precautions to prevent them falling.

The Health and Safety Executive investigation found that the company’s management did not appreciate the risks to their maintenance workers when working on the roofs.  A generic risk assessment had been carried out, but this was inadequate and failed to identify the risks and control measures for employees working at height.

Commenting after the case the HSE Inspector said, “The senior management of companies must learn from this tragic case that they need to take the health and safety of their workers seriously. In this case a confusing system of work had developed and unintentionally encouraged dangerous methods.”

“Falls from height continue to account for a significant proportion of all workplace deaths and serious injuries. Falls through fragile roofs and skylights sadly happen all too often. Businesses should ensure that all roof work including routine maintenance is properly planned and carried out safely.”

If you’re responsible for people accessing your roofs for maintenance, inspection or repair purposes then you have a duty to ensure the work can be carried out safely and appropriate equipment used.   For work on factory or similar roofs where roof lights and skylights are prevalent, Kee Cover provides an effective, yet simple solution for covering unprotected roof lights.  The protection is modular in design, easy to transport and assemble on-site and has been tested to the ACR Red Book Test for Non-Fragility of Roof Assemblies as well as BS EN 1873.

The HSE has announced that it will be carrying out a series of unannounced inspection visits on sites where refurbishment or repair work is being carried out.   Site visits will be taking place between the 3rd October and 4th November 2016 and work at height is one of the high risk activities they will be focussing on.

So, if you have any concerns about whether you are working safely at height, or would like information on our Kee Cover safety solution, call us on Tel: 01293 529977.

 

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