Roofing company fined after employee ladder fall

Roofing company J Webber Roofing Limited has been fined after a worker fell seven metres from a scaffold access ladder while assisting colleagues with chimney repairs.

Following an investigation from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Kings Lynn Magistrates Court heard that the worker has been subcontracted to assist colleagues by removing waste, mixing cement and bringing tools up to the roof while chimney work took place on a domestic property.

According to HSE, on the 10 July 2015, the worker climbed up the ladder carrying a cement filled bucket on his shoulder. While climbing, the worker lost balance and fell around seven metres to the ground below.

Working at height can result in serious injuries for workers and costly compensation for businesses, particularly when the injuries are permanent or long-term. However, in cases where the company has taken out comprehensive employers liability insurance, these expenses are often covered.

In this particular instance the employee was left with multiple fractures to his arm and wrists, and despite surgery and the insertion of steel plates he has been told he will never regain full use of his hands.

During the hearing, HSE revealed that J Webber had failed to adequately plan for the type of work at height taking place, which in this case involved manual handling of construction materials and waste up and down the ladders.

Speaking outside the court, HSE Inspector Kasia Urbaniak said: "This incident which has left a worker without the full use of his hands could have been easily avoided if a ‘gin wheel’ had been installed on the scaffold platform to transport tools and other construction materials."

J Webber Roofing Limited of 81 Gayton Road, Gaywood, Kings Lynn pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1)(a) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £1,582 in costs.