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Working at height safety highlighted by HSE



Two companies have been fined following an accident which saw life changing injuries for a worker.

The HSE pursued prosecution of a contractor and scaffolding company following the incident in December 2015 when a subcontractor fell from a roof during works.

Jhanade Ryan was working as a subcontractor for Centreco (UK) Ltd, installing solar panels to the roof of Firth Steels, Brighouse, when he slipped and slid down to the edge protection. The toe board of the edge protection snapped and he fell through the scaffold, falling five metres and landing on a sub-station flat roof. The fall resulted in a fracture to his spine, a broken coccyx and nerve damage, with Mr Ryan still suffering from mobility issues after almost three months in hospital.

The HSE investigated the incident and found that not only had the scaffolding company had not erected the scaffold to a known industry standard or design, but also that roof lights were present which needed to be made safe to prevent workers falling through their fragile surface.

Oswestry Shropshire Scaffold Ltd of Pool Cottage, Oswestry, Shropshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and has been fined £28,800 and ordered to pay £945.20 in costs.

Centreco (UK) Ltd of Hearle House, Chorley, Lancs pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and has been fined £33,500 and ordered to pay £945.20 in costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Jayne Towey commented: “Falls from height often result in life changing or fatal injuries. In most cases these accidents are needless and could be prevented by properly planning to ensure that effective preventative and protective measures are in place such as edge protection or barriers built to the correct standard.”

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