Companies looking to ensure the ultimate safety levels are achieved on their premises might be wise to tackle the issue of falls from height, which are one of the most common causes of injury in the workplace.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has revealed a builder it prosecuted has now been fined in court after one of his staff was injured in a 2.3-metre tumble. Paul Siviter, who trades as Paul Siviter General Builder, employed Andrew Hosking and asked him to work on a roof at a property in Glascoed.
Mr Hosking worked alongside Anthony Skarratts, but both men hit the floor after a beam they were balanced on broke. While Mr Skarratts was not harmed in the incident in October last year, Mr Hosking suffered serious injuries and has not worked since.
The pair had been standing on an old wooden beam 2.3 metres above the ground in order to take A-frame trusses from somebody below and fit them in position on the roof. As they fell, Mr Hosking struck the edge of a disused bath tub.
HSE inspector Simon Breen said: "Mr Hosking sustained a very serious injury and could have died as a result of the fall.
"The dangers of working at height are well known within the construction, yet incidents of this kind occur all too often. The fall could have easily have been prevented had suitable scaffolding, or other measures, been in place for the duration of the work."
He added that the case should be a reminder to other firms around the UK that they must take safety seriously when asking employees to work at height. There are many regulations to consider and kitting out people with the latest safety equipment is a good idea.
Paul Siviter was fined £8,000 for his part in the incident after pleading guilty to breaching Section 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, while he must also pay costs totalling almost £3,000.