In one of our latest blogs we highlighted why it is so important that bosses do everything they can to protect their workers from falls.
We highlighted that falls remains one of the highest cause of workplace deaths and that slips, trips and falls also account for more than 40 per cent of non-fatal injuries at work in 2020-2021.
During the same period firms were fined more than £1.5million and ordered to pay nearly £220,000 in costs for health and safety breaches involving falls.
However, when you’re talking about such large numbers it can be easy to forget the individuals involved which is why we wanted to share with you the details of a sad court case which took place a few weeks ago.
Worker dies after falling from a mobile tower
Last month, Cambridge Magistrates Court heard how, on 15 September 2017, Sean Harding was working from a mobile tower levelling a steel beam that was seated on a door lintel.
This involved using a crowbar to lever the beam up for a work colleague to insert a metal packer into the gap.
Mr Harding caught his jacket sleeve on the tower, lost balance and fell over a single guard rail and down to ground level.
He was taken to hospital but died three months later due to medical complications.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the mobile tower wasn’t configured correctly for the task due to the limited headroom and that double guard rails could have been used, if configured correctly.
Peter Saunders Builders Ltd of Tennyson House, Cambridge Business Park, Cambridge, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 8 (a) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £16,000 with £5,139.80 costs.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Stephen Hartley said: “Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well known.
“Those in control of work have a responsibility to select access equipment that is suitable for the task and the work environment and ensure that it is safely used.”
How do we stop falls in the workplace
As we’ve mentioned in previous blogs there is a wealth of information available to organisations which want to protect their employees from the risk of falls in the workplace.
According to the HSE, the most fatal and serious injuries involving mobile elevating work platforms arise from falling, entrapment, overturning and collision.
It says all these hazards should be identified within a risk assessment and suitable control measures put in place.
However, we realise it can be difficult for firms to make sure they are following all this advice when they are trying to get on with the day-to-day running of their business.
This is why Acorn offers a full suite of health and safety services to help organisations successfully manage their health and safety requirements.
One of our most in-demand services is our Construction Health and Safety Inspection and Audit.
We provide construction safety inspections and audits for types of constructions site across the UK which are designed to help keep people safe from a wide range of risks associated with construction sites – including the risk of falls.
Acorn also provides a dedicated Health and Safety Retained Consultant service to help businesses of all sizes and from all industries to successfully manage their health and safety needs without the need to hire their own full-time member of staff.
In the last 16 years, we’ve shown hundreds of businesses how to easily become health and safety compliant without them having to do all the hard work or making mistakes.
We also provide a free service to help organisations discover if they are meeting their health and safety requirements.
Our free health and safety review surgeries are led by our national award-winning health and safety expert John Crockett.
During the 30-minute surgery, callers get the chance to discuss and diagnose any current health and safety compliance issues with John.