Contractor fined £20k after apprentice falls through roof

Chester-based Abbots Mead Limited was fined for poorly managing work at height while carrying out repairs to a roof and cleaning the gutters of a commercial unit in Wolverhampton.

Dudley Magistrates Court heard that on 29th January 2021 ,while repairing the roof of a commercial unit, an apprentice employee fell six metres through a skylight and onto a concrete floor of the warehouse below, hitting racking on the way. His injuries included fractures to a hip and wrist.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that employees had not been informed they were working on a fragile roof and no measures had been put in place for working on a fragile surface. Abbots Mead failed to properly risk assess the task and to provide the appropriate control measures to prevent a fall.

Abbots Mead Limited, of Sealand Industrial Estate in Chester, pleaded guilty to a breach of Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. It was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,873 plus a victim surcharge.

HSE inspector Aaron Fisher said after the hearing: “Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well known. Companies and individuals in control should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standard.”

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