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Worker seriously injured in roof fall on biomass job

2 August 2018 | By Neil Gerrard

A company specialising in the installation of biomass heating systems and photovoltaic solar systems was fined £32,000 after a worker fell from a roof and suffered serious injury.

Beverley Magistrates court heard how, on 27 March 2015, the worker was installing a flue system for a biomass heating system at a farm in North Yorkshire.

He had attempted to work from a ladder at the side of the outbuilding but when this didn't work, he resorted to climbing onto the roof to complete the works.

While working on the roof, the worker fell a distance of around two metres through the fragile cement sheet, suffering injuries including broken bones in the left ankle.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to adequately plan the installation of the heating system and the necessary work at height. Furthermore, the investigation found the company failed to provide suitable work at height equipment such as a mobile elevated work platform, edge protection, crawl boards, a roof ladder or scaffolding.

Duncan Plumbing Heating and Electrics of Rudgate Business Park, Tockwith, North Yorkshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was been fined £32,000 and ordered to pay £2,424.60 in costs

HSE inspector James Harvey commented: “Work at height, such as roof work, is a high-risk activity that accounts for a high proportion of workplace serious injuries and fatalities each year.

“This case highlights the importance of following well-known industry guidance to plan and assess the work at height requirements needed to complete the work safely.”

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