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Competence failures led to two workers falling from height

Mon 16 Jul 2018
posted by Total Access
A Manchester-based principal contractor has been sentenced for safety breaches after two workers both fell when working from height.

Leeds Crown Court was told how, on 3 October 2014, the two subcontracted joiners were working on the refurbishment and construction of new build dwellings at the former Wharfedale Hospital in Otley, West Yorkshire. They were working in the bell tower at the site on a temporary access platform when it collapsed. The men fell approximately 3.4 metres onto a lower platform which also collapsed.

They then fell a further 3.4m onto the ground floor of the building. The platforms were installed by PJ Livesey Living Space (North) Ltd to allow other contractors to access the roof structure. One of the workers injured their ankle while the other has suffered permanent nerve damage to the face.

The HSE’s investigation found the work platforms had been designed by the site manager, an employee of PJ Livesey. The site manager was not competent to carry out such a design and the design had not been reviewed by another competent person. Consequently, the platform was unsafe and collapsed.

PJ Livesey Living Space (North) Ltd of Ashburton Park, Trafford Park, Manchester pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £56,000 with costs of £7,262.16.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Chris Tilley commented:

“The risks associated with working at height are well known. Temporary works must always be designed to meet British Standards by a competent person and in the case of more complex works such as this, be subject to a secondary overview.”

 

Fall Protection

With falls being among the most common cause of serious injury in the work place fall protection is so important. The Total Access (UK) Limited Fall Protection Department offers a nationwide service specialising in the design and installation of high level access solutions to facilitate the safe and efficient working environment of roof maintenance, on scaffolding, abseil cleaning and other high level tasks.
See more about our Fall Protection Services here

Working at Height

Although these workers were renovating a basement, the risk of falling was still there, therefore they were still technically working at height. Some don't realise how important putting all their training into practice at work can be, this man didn't realise he may face jail time for not being properly secured whilst working at height. Make sure to have a look at our working at height training where you can learn everything from how to correctly suit up in sufficient equipment to climbing correctly.

 

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