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A recent prosecution at Leeds Magistrates’ Court is a stark reminder of just what is at stake when working at height is not properly planned and supervised. 

 

The Court heard that a sheeting cladder fell through a roof light, falling 9.7m to the factory floor below. As a result he suffered life-changing injuries requiring an operation to insert six pins into his pelvis and four pins into his femur.  

The principal contractor was fined £145,000 (plus £5,046.30 costs) and the cladding contractor £165,000 (plus £5,114.49 costs). A total of £320,160-79. 

 

After the hearing HSE Inspector Paul Thompson commented: “Work at height, such as roof work, is a high risk activity that accounts for a high proportion of serious injuries and fatalities.”

 

“This was a wholly avoidable accident caused by the failure of the principal contractor to manage and monitor the work.”

 

In response to this prosecution, the Access Industry Forum (AIF) – the forum for the eleven leading trade associations and federations involved in work at height – is today calling for all principal contractors, and those involved in undertaking work at height, to ensure that the work involved is properly planned, supervised and carried out safely by competent people as required by the Work at Height Regulations 2005 (WAHR). 

 

For access to codes of good practice, equipment standards, training, education and knowledge, visit www.accessindustryforum.org.uk

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