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Coventry housing association fined after safety failings

Coventry housing association fined after safety failings

30 March 2013 Email this article

Coventry housing association Whitefriars has been fined for safety failings after an employee fell almost four metres from his ladder while inspecting a gutter.

The 52-year-old plumber, from Solihull, was inspecting a gutter at one of the company's houses on Jeliff Street in Coventry in June 2011 when he fell. He broke his pelvis and was consequently in hospital for four months.  

The HSE prosecuted the housing association after its investigation found that the base of the ladder had not been properly secured. It was also found that employees had not been given any instruction or equipment to enable them to secure their ladders effectively.

Crucially, the company had failed to provide standoff devices to enable employees to work around guttering without resting the ladder against the unstable guttering itself. The company had also neglected to undertake suitable routine monitoring to ensure their employees were working safely.

The company was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay £5,980 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Ed Fryer said:"A housing group doing such regular work at height should have known better, but as it was the work was not properly planned, organised or carried out in a safe manner, which resulted in this entirely preventable incident and a serious injury for the worker.”