Company sentenced after labourer falls from height

Stress Awareness Month kicks off this April, with the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) Working Minds campaign partnering with twenty-two organizations across Great Britain to help workplaces tackle work-related stress and bolster mental health.
Credit: HSE

A company has been sentenced after a worker fell through a skylight during the construction of a new farm building in Wimborne.

Construction firm Cutler Bros. Ltd and its Director have been fined  almost £10,000 for the incident.

Poole Magistrates’ Court heard that on 22nd February 2019, a self-employed labourer was working with another colleague to fit roof sheets to the newly constructed steel framed barn.

While working from the roof of an existing, adjacent barn, the worker fell through a fragile skylight in the barn roof almost 4 meters to the floor below. He suffered head and facial injuries and was knocked unconscious. He spent nearly two weeks in hospital.

An investigation by the HSE found that the work had not been properly planned. The method of work meant that workers had to work near to a fragile roof without having sufficient platforms and guard rails in place. The company Director was on site directing the work.

Cutler Bros. Ltd of Wimborne, Dorset pleaded guilty to breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005. They have been fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,600.

As a director of the company, Roger Martin Cutler pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,200.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Georgina Symons, said “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply using correct control measures and following safe working practices.

“Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities/injuries in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well known.”