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 Firm fined after worker falls through roof in London

Firm fined after worker falls through roof in London

3 March 2013 Email this article

A London interior fit-out company has been fined for safety failings after a worker suffered career-ending injuries after falling six metres to the floor through a fragile roof light at a construction site.


The 46-year-old worker – who was working for Sherlock Interiors Contracting Ltd - broke three vertebrae, his right shoulder blade and several ribs in the fall in Kensington and is unlikely to be able to return to manual work as a result of the severity of his injuries.


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated and found that hard-board coverings previously installed over the roof lights had been removed and replaced with thin plastic sheeting. Safety decking beneath the roof - designed to protect workers in the event of a fall - was no longer in place when the man started work.


Had the risks been properly assessed and managed, the fall could have been completely preventable. 


Sherlock Interiors Contracting Ltd, was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay £5347 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 9(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.


After the hearing, HSE inspector Peter Collingwood said:"Work at height is inherently fraught with risk, and falls remain the single biggest cause of deaths and serious injury in the construction industry.


"It is therefore essential that effective management arrangements are in place to ensure risks are managed and workers are protected. Fragile roof covers provide little or no protection, and should be viewed with the same level of danger as an open void."