Building Firm’s Case Puts Focus On Work Experience Safety

Company Fined Over Fall From Height

18.03.2011

Companies need to ensure they do everything they can to ensure that work placement students are protected from potential dangers, an accident at work expert at Irwin Mitchell has urged.

David Urpeth, national head of workplace injuries, made the comment after Sheffield construction firm Alan Fleischer Builders Ltd was fined £1,500 in relation to an incident when a schoolboy on work experience suffered a fall from height.

The 15-year-old was bruised after he fell 2.4 metres from a ladder while working on a conversion project at a site on Sheffield’s West Street in March 2010.

According to the Health and Safety Executive, a safety assessment had not been completed in the area the incident took place. Further it was not anticipated that students on-site would be involved in any work at height.

Commenting on the case, work injury specialist David Urpeth said: “As well as having a duty to ensure workers are safe, companies have a responsibility to ensure steps are taken to ensure anyone else on the site is protected from harm.

“This case highlights several issues, including the dangers of working at height and the importance of taking steps to ensure that those on work experience placements are given the support they need to work safely  on the site.

“I hope that firms from across the construction sector can learn lessons from this incident and prevent any similar incidents from occurring in the future.”