Sentencing for Company and director after worker fractures arm and leg

Company and Director sentenced due to workers Injuries

A company and director are sentenced after an employee fell from height and suffered serious injuries.  The worker fractured his femur, elbow, arm, and pelvis after falling approximately 3 metres off a ladder.  The company was hired to replace guttering and supply fascia boards and soffits at an infant school.

Accident and extent of injuries

The 53-year-old employee falls to the ground, after the ladder leaning against the wall, slipped.  The employee spent 16 days in hospital due to his injuries.  As a result, he underwent surgery to add a bolt to his hip and metal plate to his arm.  The Health and Safety Executive found insufficient planning for working at height.  A safe platform from which to work, such as properly erected scaffolding, should have been provided.

Workers need both hands to carry out the work and could not therefore work safely from a ladder.  Ladders should only be used for access or where it is not reasonably practicable to provide safe working platforms, for short-term work of up to 30 minutes, where workers can normally maintain three points of contact.

The HSE guidance on working at height can be found at: Work at height – HSE

Financial penalty and consequences for the Company

The company was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £2,000 in costs at Slough Magistrates’ Court.  Imposing the sentence, the Judge remarked: “Because of the financial penalty, the company may end up being wound up completely; but that is a consequence of the conviction.”

Pleading guilty to breaching the Work at Height Regulations, as well as, the Health and Safety at Work Act, the director is handed a 12-month community order.  He is to undertake 180 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £1,000 in costs at Slough Magistrates’ Court.

Accident could have been avoided

HSE inspector Rachael Newman says: “This worker’s injuries are serious. This incident could have been avoided through the selection of suitable work equipment to prevent him from falling and careful planning.”

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

Careful Planning via a Suitable & Sufficient Risk Assessment

Safety Aide can assist your business regarding Health and Safety, including Risk Assessments,  please get in touch on 08000 806 801.