Worker’s Fall Raises Supervision And Planning Concerns

HSE Investigation Highlights Problems

21.01.2011

A work accident expert at Irwin Mitchell has called on firms to put a greater focus on supervision and planning after a company was fined for an employee’s fall from height.

Grimsby demolition firm H. Cope & Sons Ltd was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay costs in relation to an accident at work in January 2009, when a worker suffered leg and hand injuries after falling through a cement roof while dismantling a block of garages.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive revealed the firm’s planning for the project was inadequate, while poor supervision meant the employer was also unaware of what its workers were responsible for.

The employee involved has been unable to return to work following the incident and is unlikely to ever get involved in the construction industry again.

David Urpeth, national head of workplace injuries at Irwin Mitchell, said: “This work accident case has raised serious issues that all businesses need to pay attention to. It is almost beyond belief that an employer would not know what their workers have been tasked to do.

“Health and safety must always be treated with the upmost seriousness by all companies and this terrible case shows just why.

“Falls from height are also among the most common injuries sustained by those in the construction industry, so I am hopeful that every effort will be made to ensure no one else suffers in such a manner again.”