Firm Fined For Hangar Roof Fall

Accident At Bristol International Airport

16.04.2010

A building firm has incurred a £100,000 fine for breaching health and safety rules after one of its employees fell 30ft from the roof of an aircraft hangar.

Rubb Buildings was ordered to pay the fine and costs of £48,795.36 at Bristol Crown Court, after the accident which occurred at Bristol International Airport in December 2006.

The employee, Steven Watson, 30, was working to dismantle the roof when he fell through a hole that he had cut and landed on the concrete floor.

At the inquest it was discovered that Mr Watson, who died from multiple injuries, had alcohol in his system and that he was not wearing a safety harness while he was working.

Rubb Buildings admitted one breach under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 in relation to the incident.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Steve Frain said: "Steven Watson should have been properly protected by Rubb Buildings Ltd; instead, he lost his life.

"The company failed in its duty to ensure there was a properly planned and supervised means of working - there should have been no need to work directly on the roof.

"Falls from height can be extremely serious risks and adequate safety measures must be in place to protect all workers in order to prevent tragic incidents such as this."

Copyright © Press Association 2010

David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: “This is another tragic example of a fatal accident at work that occurred in circumstances that could and should have been avoided.

“As such, I welcome the fine imposed.  However, no level of fine will turn back the clocks.

“I would urge employers to place greater emphasis on worker's safety bearing in mind that falls from height are a major cause of both serious and fatal injuries.

“I regularly have to help workers pursue their compensation claim following injuries sustained in a work accident.”