Supervisor fined for breaching WAH procedures

Source: on 2013-06-17 09:20:00

Temporary worker Philip Giles was working as part of a team removing asbestos cement sheets from the warehouse roof on a site at the Drum Industrial Estate in Birtley, Tyneside, in September 2011. The workers were stripping out the sheets from underneath using a scissor lift. When they could no longer reach the sheets from the mobile platform, Paul Burke, who was supervising the operation for the removal contractor, let them go onto the roof to continue. Giles trod on a loose skylight and fell 10 metres to the warehouse floor. The company's procedure required Burke to inform his contracts manager before allowing any change to an agreed system of work. The use of an elevating platform had been agreed because the contractor had identified the roof panels as fragile. Burke pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to breaching Regulation 4(1)(b) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 between 4 August and 5 September 2011 by failing to properly supervise work at height and make sure it was carried out safely. At Durham Crown Court he was fined £1000 and ordered to pay £9,765.88 costs on 14 June.  “Mr Burke allowed some of the work to be undertaken on the roof without any measures in place to guard against falls and injury,” said HSE Inspector Keith Partington. “He was not authorised to make changes of this nature and also failed to discuss the changes with his employer. Standfirst: A supervisor has been fined under the Work at Height Regulations for allowing colleagues onto a fragile roof in breach of his employer's safety policy. One of the workers was left paralysed from the neck down after falling from the roof. Author: Louis WustemannCategory: Safe systems of workWork at heightNews Type: NewsIndustry: ConstructionRelated articles: Director knew roof and skylights were fragileBuilder ignored advice over unsafe roof workingBuilder paralysed in rooflight fallAdd to Carousel: noColour balance: Light text for use over a dark imageText position: Bottom Left aligned text

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