Carlisle firm in court after scaffolder injured in fall

Published:  19 June, 2014

Contract Scaffolding Services has been fined £15,000 after a trainee scaffolder fell more than 6m through a roof light. The firm was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following the incident at a factory in Dalston, Cumbria on 22 February, 2013.

The firm was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following the incident at a factory in Dalston, Cumbria on 22 February, 2013.

The employee was wearing a harness when he was working on the roof of a building, however this was not clipped onto anything at the time of the incident.

He tried to walk past a collegue during the job, but stepped onto a roof light which gave way, causing him to fall through it. He suffered severe cuts to his face and head, and shattered his kneecap when hitting the concrete floor.

The court was told that although Contract Scaffolding Services had prepared a scaffolding plan, method statement and risk assessment prior to starting the work, it did not mention the presence of the fragile roof lights.

The plan made no mention of the need to wear a harness when working on the roof and the court heard that although the injured worker was issued with a harness, at five feet the lanyard was so long that even if it had been clipped onto the scaffolding it would not have stopped him falling through the roof lights due to their position.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Martin Paren said: “A worker at Contract Scaffolding Services has suffered injuries that could affect him from the rest of his life purely because the company failed to make sure its employees were safe.

“The risk of falling through fragile roof lights is well known in the industry but the risk assessment carried out by the company in this case failed to highlight their presence and to ensure a safe system of work was in place to prevent falls."