Apprentice left with serious injuries after a fall from height.
Coach builder Bespoke Bodies of Warrington, Cheshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3(1)(a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations and Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. It was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3339.
The 25 year old apprentice sustained three fractured ribs and a ruptured spleen as a result of the incident on 14 April 2016.
Liverpool Magistrates’ Court heard that the apprentice was assisting other employees cleaning the valley gutters on the roof of the company’s workshop in Warrington, Cheshire. The apprentice stepped backwards onto a fragile skylight, falling around 9m to the floor below. Fortunately, his fall was broken by a table.
An investigation by the HSE found that Bespoke Bodies had not properly supervised the work at height. It was also established that the company failed to identify the risks associated with working at height and working on fragile surfaces.
Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector Lianne Farrington said: “Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work related injuries and the risks with working at height are well known.
Elizabeth Sinclair, Director of Epica Health & Safety said, “This is a sad case whereby employees were asked to carry out an activity outside of their normal working operations. No risk assessment or safe system of work was developed or communicated.
“Employers must remember that they need to apply health and safety to all activities required of employees, this includes ensuring competency in carrying out such activities.
“In this case it may have been more appropriate to subcontract the work to a company who were competent and with better resources for health and safety in this type of maintenance work.”