The ladder was not tied down and, as it slipped, the victim fell five metres and broke several vertebrae in his lower back.
Liverpool magistrates heard that on 11th June 2018 Grayton Building Contractors Ltd was undertaking a first-floor extension to a residential bungalow in Noel Gate, Aughton.
An employee was fitting fascia boards and soffits to allow roofers employed by Thomas Dean to start work. Whilst stepping across a gap in the incomplete working platform to get down, the untied ladder slipped sideways, causing him to fall. As a result of his injuries he was unable to work for eight weeks.
An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that both Grayton Building Contractors Ltd and the roofing contractor Thomas Dean failed to plan the work properly, to assess the risks and to provide appropriate supervision. Subsequently the work at height equipment selected was not suitable and the work was not carried out safely.
Grayton Building Contractors Ltd of Botanic Road, Churchtown, Southport pleaded guilty to a breach of Regulation 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. It was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,742.
Thomas Dean of Youatt Avenue, Prescot, Merseyside pleaded guilty to a breach of Regulation 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. He was fined £400 and ordered to pay costs of £3,000.
HSE inspector Andy McGrory said after the hearing: “The risks from working at height are well known. Those in control of the work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working, which should include ensuring the use of suitable work equipment and adequate supervision. The incident could have easily been prevented with simple precautions including properly planning the work, undertaking a suitable risk assessment and by selecting, erecting and using suitable work at height equipment for the job.”