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Kent Businesses Fined Over Fatal Fall From Height

Legal Expert Calls On Employers To Keep Workers Safe


By Rob Dixon

Two Kent-based companies have been fined in relation to a work accident in November 2010 in which a 61-year-old man suffered fatal injuries in a fall from height.

Robert Rogers died after falling six metres through a skylight while working for Richard Parker, trading as Ovenden Engineering, which had been contracted by Allied Domecq Spirits and Wine Ltd to fix a leak on the roof of its warehouse in Dover.

The Health and Safety Executive investigated the incident and found there was no safety equipment in place for those working on the fragile roof despite regular work being undertaken on it. In addition, no crawling or scaffolding boards were in place.

It also revealed that Allied Domecq, as the owner of the warehouse, should have ensured work on the roof was planned safely and that proper control measures in place.

Richard Parker, trading as Ovenden Engineering, was fined £26,667 in relation to the incident, while Allied Domecq Spirits and Wine was fined £266,677.

Stephen Nye, a Partner and workplace injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Time and time again, cases like this highlight the huge consequences that falls from height can have on victims, whether such incidents prove to be fatal or leave those involved with serious long-term injuries.

“Working at height is always fraught with risk and employers have an absolute duty to ensure that steps are taken to keep their workers safe from harm. Proper planning is key to this, along with the provision and use of the right protective equipment and guarding.

“The right precautions can make a huge difference to the lives of workers and we hope that employers take note of this tragedy to ensure that the circumstances are never repeated in the future.”

If you have lost a loved one due to an accident at work, our serious injury claims solicitors could help you claim compensation to help get the answers you deserve. For more information visit our fatal accident claims or fall from height claims page.