Manufacturing Company Fined £210,000 Over Death of Worker

Oct 17, 2016
A company situated in Somerset has been fined following a prosecution under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, following the death of a worker who fell through a factory roof skylight.

Mr Maxwell was a maintenance worker who had permission to regularly go onto the roofs to complete various tasks. He completed these tasks on a regular basis without adequate and sufficient safety measures being in place.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation revealed that senior management failed to appreciate the risks to maintenance workers working on the roof. Despite having performed a risk assessment it was described as both ‘inadequate’ and ‘generic’ and failed to identify the risks and control measures necessary for employees working at height.

Speaking after the case, HSE Inspector Annette Walker said: ‘The senior management of companies must learn from this tragic case that they need to take the health and safety of their workers seriously. In this case a confusing system of work had developed and unintentionally encouraged dangerous methods.

‘Falls from height continue to account for a significant proportion of all workplace deaths and serious injuries. Falls through fragile roofs and skylights sadly happen all too often. Businesses should ensure that all roof work including routine maintenance is properly planned and carried out safely.'

Cooper B-Line Limited, of Walrow Industrial Estate, Highbridge, Somerset, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was fined £210,000 and ordered to pay costs of £36,493.52.

The Health and Safety Executive has published guidance on Health and Safety in Roof Work for working at height here.

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