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News / Fall through fragile surface

18 July 2019

Failing to plan or supervise work at height has resulted in a construction company being fined over £31,000 after a worker fell through a skylight whilst carrying out cladding work on a flat roof.

The worker was collecting his tools when he walked across a covered skylight which he thought would be strong enough to take his weight.   An HSE investigation found that this was in fact just an opening for a skylight and it had been covered with a fragile material, so when the worker stood on it, it gave way.  As a result he fell through the skylight opening and is still unable to return to work due to his injuries.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of The Work at Height Regulations 2005 which requires employers to ensure that work at height is properly planned, appropriately supervised, is carried out in as safe a manner that is reasonably practicable and that the planning includes the correct selection of work equipment

After the hearing, the HSE inspector commented “The risks associated with fragile roofs are known throughout the construction industry. 

“Failing to protect workers from this risk is inexcusable."

 

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