Health and Safety Executive warn of the dangers of working at height after Oldha
Date: Monday, June 23, 2008 @ 09:35:59 BST
Topic: Health and Safety Executive (HSE) News

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has warned of the danger of working at height without properly planning the work.  The warning follows the prosecution of Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council (Oldham MBC) after an employee fell from a bowls pavilion and broke his arm.

Oldham MBC was fined £1,500 and ordered to pay £5,382 costs after pleading guilty at Trafford Magistrates’ Court to two charges under health and safety legislation after the incident on the 13 February 2007.   The court heard that a gardener had been applying anti-vandal paint to the roof of a new bowls pavilion in Chadderton Hall Park when he fell while getting down.

HSE Inspector Helen Jones said:

"This incident could have had even more serious consequences, and could have been easily prevented. The gardener climbed onto the roof of the new bowls pavilion from a grass bank at the rear.  He could have fallen over 2 metres whilst working on the roof, but slipped as he was getting off, breaking his arm.

"A proper assessment of the risks should have been carried out before the work started to identify the simple precautions needed to ensure safe means of accessing and descending, and working on the roof. This case should serve as a lesson to others that procedures need to be followed to properly control risks."

The Council was charged with breaching Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 in that they failed to properly plan or supervise the work, and Regulation 6 in that they failed to take suitable measures to prevent their employee falling from the roof. 

This article comes from Sheffield Occupational Health and Safety Association (SOHSA)

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