Perils of working at height – BT fined £600,000.00            

The HSE has reported that British Telecommunications PLC has been fined after two of its employees were seriously injured in falls from height (

One of the engineers was installing a cable through a hole on the first floor along a ceiling level cable tray to the Main Distribution Frame (MDF) on the ground floor. In order to carry out this work he was working on a stepladder in amongst the lighting system. He felt a pain in his right arm and fell from the step ladder. He was taken to hospital with head and back injuries.

The accident was not properly investigated and later that day the work was allowed to continue. The second engineer continued with the work himself, from a different ladder. However he too fell to the ground and was taken to hospital with serious skull and back injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into both incidents, which occurred on 1st April 2010, found that the work had not been properly assessed or planned, despite workers being exposed to such serious risks as working at height close to an electrical system.

HSE inspector Laura Lyons said after the hearing:

“Work at height and working close to electrical systems needs to be properly assessed and planned so that adequate controls can be put in place. This duty rests firmly with the employer. These life changing incidents could have been avoided if BT had provided safe systems of work and ensured that the electrical systems were properly constructed, maintained and tested. ”

All businesses must comply with the Work at Height Regulations 2005, if they have any person working at a distance that if a worker fell could suffer personal injury.

The Regulations place a duty on employers, to ensure that all work at height is properly planned and organised, those involved in work at height are competent, the risks from work at height are assessed, and appropriate work equipment is selected and used, the risks of working on or near fragile surfaces are properly managed and that the equipment used for work at height is properly inspected and maintained.

How can we help?

If you have suffered an injury caused by a fall from height and you believe you sustained that injury due to lack of training of other employees, lack of equipment or faulty work equipment, or you feel the planning of the work was not adequate then contact our team today at Ringrose Law where we can advise you if you have a claim. Contact anyone of our offices in Lincoln, Boston, Spalding, Sleaford, Grantham and Newark and speak to a member of our Personal Injury Team

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