Company fined after worker suffers broken hip

A construction company has been fined after a painter and decorator fell from an unprotected landing on the second floor of a house.

Reading Magistrates’ Court heard that, on 28 January 2019, the employee of R A Shayler & Son Limited suffered life changing injuries when he fell from a second floor landing down to the first floor, and then over the unprotected edge and down the stairs to the ground floor in a house in Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that edge protection had been in place prior to the incident but had subsequently been removed. The company had failed to replace the edge protection before the employee was directed to carry out the work.

R A Shayler & Son Limited of Tusmore, Bicester, Oxon pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and has been fined £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,230.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Christopher Gregory said:

“Falls from height remain the most common cause of work-related fatalities and serious injuries in the construction industry, and the risks associated with working at height are well-known.

“Working at height, where open edges remain unprotected even for a short duration, or when accessing and egressing work areas can be particularly dangerous. It is important that those in control of the work identify the risks posed and ensure appropriate control measures are in place at all times to safeguard workers, ensuring that the risks are being controlled so far as is reasonably practicable.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. www.hse.gov.uk
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk
  4. Further information about health and safety when working at height can be found at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/faq-height