March 19th, 2018
Housing association fined after worker injured in fall
A housing association in Coventry has been has been fined after an employee was badly injured falling off a ladder.
The man, who has not been named, was working as a plumber for the Whitefriars Housing Group when the accident happened in June 2011. He was on the ladder inspecting a gutter when he fell four metres, breaking his pelvis. He was in hospital for four months after the accident.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the fall
and found that the base of the ladder had not been secured. The housing association was prosecuted and Coventry Magistrates Court heard that employees had not been given any instructions on working at height and how to use ladders safely. It had also not provided standoff devices which allow workers to work on guttering without resting their ladders against it, which is considered unstable.
The Whitefriars Housing Group was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,980 after pleading guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Ed Fryer said that the association, which carried out regular work at height, should have known better, adding that the work was not properly planned, organised or carried out in a safe manner.
Falls from height remain the biggest cause of death and injury at work, which makes the need to plan such work effectively even more important.
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