The Health and Safety Executive recently reported on contract workers who worked at height in a dangerous manner which put the general public at risk.
The contractors were working on a tower platform in the centre of St Helens without adequate protection for the public walking underneath. It was a member of the public who noticed that the property developer didn’t have adequate site safety and reported the breach in workplace health and safety. For failing to ensure work at height was carried out in a safe manner the Liverpool property firm Copelare Ltd was fined £7,000 with £1,496 costs at the Magistrates Court in St Helens on 01/04/2015.
This comes after the news that a Birmingham shopfitting firm was prosecuted and fined £7,000 for breaching work at height regulations. This hammers home the message to employers that they should take health and safety in the workplace seriously and always make appropriate plans for when work at height must be completed.
Both companies failed to adequately plan for working at height. The Liverpool employer should have provided protection from falling objects by way of putting mesh up to stop materials from dropping or setting up an exclusion zone for people at ground level. Meanwhile the Birmingham employer should have ensured their staff had received full training, had supervision from someone with relevant experience and checked that the equipment was appropriate for the task in hand.
Ideally employers should look to avoid working at height whenever possible. However if work at height must be completed then employers must take suitable and sufficient measures to make sure no one can be injured. They must also plan for emergencies and rescue. Employers must check every workplace where their employees will undertake work at height for safety every time before the workplace is used. When planning work at height employers would also be wise to consider how weather conditions might compromise safety.
For a better understanding of safety when working at height read our blog on What Your Employer Must Do When You Work At Height.
If you would like legal advice on working at height the Personal Injury Solicitors at Slater and Gordon Lawyers specialise in No Win No Fee accident at work compensation claims. Call freephone 0800 916 9046 for a free consultation or contact us online.
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