• Robert Spicer

Another workplace roof death fall: two companies fined

Fall death: two companies fined

Health and Safety Executive v Quality 1st Building Services Ltd and EP Abley Ltd (2017) Bournemouth Crown Court, August 14

Statutory reference: s. 3 of the Health and Safety at Work, etc., Act 1974 (HSWA) and regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2015 (WAH)

The facts

· A subcontractor engaged by Quality 1st Building Services Ltd was working on the roof of a property in Ringwood, Hampshire, in July 2012.

· He fell seven metres to the ground and suffered fatal head injuries.

· Neither Quality, nor EP Abley, the principal contractor, had ensured that the roof work had the correct edge protection to prevent falls from height.

· Both companies had failed to clearly communicate and co-ordinate work on the site in a safe and appropriate way.

The decision

Quality 1st Building Services Ltd was fined £40,000 plus £17,500 costs under regulation 4, WAH.

EP Abley Ltd was fined £26,600 plus £22,500 costs for a breach of s.3 of HSWA.

An HSE inspector commented after the case that it highlighted the importance of properly planning work at height to avoid such tragic incidents. The death could easily have been prevented if both companies had taken safety measures before any work at height had started.

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