Two companies fined after worker suffers life-changing head injury

Two companies have today been for causing a life-threatening injury to a worker whilst he was working on a flat roof.

Southwark Crown Court how, on 1 December 2014, after a leak had been identified on a flat roof at Downsell Primary School, facility managers Kier Facilities Services Ltd requested action to be taken by its subcontractors, JHH Engineering. While undertaking the repair work, the JHH Engineering Ltd employee fell, suffering a life-changing head injury. The worker has been left with severe cognitive effects including memory loss, behavioural and mood changes, and a reduced ability to care for himself.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident , found that  site-specific planning was not requested from JHH Engineering Ltd, nor provided, and that the work was not monitored.  Kier Facilities Services Ltd failed to implement its own work at height procedures and ensure subcontractors were vetted. The investigation also found the roof was accessed by an employee of JHH Engineering Ltd using an unsecured, damaged ladder of insufficient length which was missing its rubber feet and stability bar. No harness was found, and the employee had not used the fall restraint system provided by Kier whilst on the roof.

JHH Engineering Ltd of Mechanics Workshop, New Lanark,  pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of HSWA 1974 and was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,967.12

Kier Facilities Services Ltd of Tempsford Hall, Sandy, Bedfordshire pleaded guilty to  breaching Section 3(1) of HSWA 1974 and was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,923.72

Speaking after the case, HSE inspector Charles Linfoot said: “Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of serious injury and death in the UK.   All work at height, including that of subcontractors, should be properly planned, organised, and monitored to ensure that it is undertaken by workers who are sufficiently trained and supervised using appropriate equipment.”

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