27th Apr, 2021 Read time 2 minutes

Construction firm fined after breaching working at height regulations

A construction company has been fined after HSE inspections found that workers were operating at height with unsafe practices and unsafe site operations.

The Kidderminster Magistrates Court heard that on the 8th of October 2019, a standard site inspection was conducted on a site in Redditch Worcestershire after the report of a fall from height. The inspections found that there were unsafe working practices that failed to comply with the working from height regulations.

Prohibition notices were issues after several breaches

The HSE Executive issued several prohibition notices and an improvement notice following several health and safety breaches. Some of the issues included unsafe working conditions on a flat roof with no edge protection. A fall from the roof in the days leading up to the inspections failed to lead to any additional health and safety improvements on the site.

The working from height regulations were put in place to help protect workers who may be operating at height. Some of the key areas to look at include the structure of the working from height platform, the use of safety harnesses and general PPE and the use of guards, toeboards and safety meshes.

Falling from height is the cause of 11% of all work-related deaths and an average of 29 people die from work-related falls every year.

Including the working form height regulations within your wider health and safety policy is crucial when it comes to maintaining good practices. Always ensure you are doing everything you can to protect workers who are operating at height and involve workers within the decision-making process.

cherry picker workers
Ruling from the court.
SSF Construction Limited of The Old Foundry, Ash Street, Bilston, West Midlands pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Regulation 13(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. They were fined £48,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,443.

"Those in control of work have a responsibility to ensure that work activities are appropriately planned, managed and monitored and that suitable control measures are both identified and implemented.

“HSE will not hesitate to take proactive enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards – it is clear that in this case we were left with no choice but issue these notices and prosecute”: HSE Inspector Chris Gregory"

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