Dorset construction company sentenced after worker falls from height

Cutler Bros. Ltd and its Director, Roger Martin Cutler have been sentenced today after a worker fell through a skylight during the construction of a new farm building in Wimborne.

Poole Magistrates’ Court heard that on 22nd February 2019, a self-employed labourer was working with another colleague to fit roof sheets to the newly constructed steel framed barn. While working from the roof of an existing, adjacent barn, the worker fell through a fragile skylight in the barn roof almost 4 meters to the floor below. He suffered head and facial injuries and was knocked unconscious. He spent nearly two weeks in hospital.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the work had not been properly planned. The method of work meant that workers had to work near to a fragile roof without having sufficient platforms and guard rails in place. The company Director was on site directing the work.

Cutler Bros. Ltd of Horton Road, Wimborne, Dorset pleaded guilty to breaching Section 9(2) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. They have been fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,600.

As a director of the company, Roger Martin Cutler pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37(1) of Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and has been fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,200.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Georgina Symons, said “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply using correct control measures and following safe working practices.

“Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities/injuries in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well known.”

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. For more on working at height, see https://www.hse.gov.uk/toolbox/height.htm