East Riding of Yorkshire Council has been fined £40,000.00 for an avoidable accident that occurred last April.
An employee fell 2.4 meters (over 7 ft) from a ladder while descending from a porch roof which was being re-felted. He suffered 2 broken vertebrae.
The HSE reported that the task had not been risk assessed and that decisions regarding safety and equipment had been left to the workers instead of the employer. As a result, the ladder was not tied and there was no edge protection in place for the porch roof.
Employers have a duty to safeguard the wellbeing of their staff, and this duty extends to those required to carry out work at height. In addition to providing safe work equipment, an employer must also provide and maintain a safe working environment by implementing and ensuring a safe system of work.
Adequate and appropriate risk assessment should be completed for all tasks that are undertaken at height. The employer should provide and instruct the use of appropriate work equipment such as scaffolding, mobile access towers of mobile elevating platforms (with guardrails) in order to minimise the risks associated with working at height.
Whilst it may be impossible to eliminate all risk, risks should be minimised by the employer as far as “reasonably practicable.” Employees working at height have a legal right to be protected from harm caused by a failure by their employer to take reasonable control measures.
At Ringrose Law, our Personal Injury Department have handled many cases for clients who previously worked at height, and became injured as a result of improper risk assessment or equipment. If you have been injured whilst working at height, because of poor risk assessment or improper equipment, get in touch with us. We have offices across Lincolnshire and Newark and may be able to act for you on a “no win- no fee” basis.