Tameside company fined for work at height failings

Crystal Architectural Aluminium Ltd has been fined following an incident where two employees suffered serious injuries after falling from height whilst removing large window frames from a school hall at St Saviour RC Primary School in Ellesmere Port.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that on 28 November 2016, an employee fell from a tower scaffold, through a window frame, knocking another worker off a stepladder. Both employees were airlifted to hospital as one had lost consciousness and the other had sustained broken ribs and a punctured lung.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that the tower scaffold had not been assembled correctly, and the stepladder that was used was not suitable for the task. The investigation also identified that the work was being carried out without proper training, qualifications, supervision and planning.

Crystal Architectural Aluminium Ltd of Mackeson Road, Ashton-Under-Lyne pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 4, 5 and 6 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined £17,000 and ordered to pay costs of £32,106.80.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Seve Gomez-Aspron 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.

“This incident could have been avoided with proper planning, supervision, and training, and the use of correct equipment. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standard.”