Employers ‘Must Recognise Dangers Of Working At Height Following Death’

Man Fined Over Safety Failings

17.01.2012

Workplace injury specialists at Irwin Mitchell have called on employers to not ignore the dangers of working at height, after a businessman was fined over an incident in which a labourer suffered serious injuries when he fell from a roof.

Taj ul Malook Mann, from Liverpool, was fined £112,000 after admitting a series of health and safety regulation breaches in relation to the incident in June 2008 when 51-year-old John McCleary fell 15 feet after losing his balance on a narrow beam while fitting roof panels at a site in Toxteth.

Mr Mann had hired the labourer to carry out the work but no scaffolding was supplied to support him.

The incident left Mr McCleary paralysed from the waist down and he died of pneumonia around seven months later as a result of his injuries. An investigation also highlighted that a bricklayer had refused to work for Mr Mann after falling from scaffolding at the site in an earlier incident.

Jonathan Betts, a Partner and specialist in accident at work claims at Irwin Mitchell’s Manchester office, said the case demonstrated why employers simply cannot ignore the issue of safety.

He outlined: “Time and again we are contacted regarding cases where people, particularly those in the construction industry, have suffered serious injuries as a result of falls from height.  The frustration is that they could largely have been avoided

“Working at height is very dangerous and it is the responsibility of employers to ensure they recognise the risks and do everything in their power to protect their staff.

“The right protective equipment, as well as full risk assessments in relation to working at heights, can play a huge role in preventing injury or – in some extreme cases – fatality. This case highlights the devastating consequences that safety failings can have and we hope that employers can learn lessons to prevent the same problems from occurring again.”