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Tue October 27 2020

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Italian firms fined after Lincoln roof fall

31 Jul 19 An Italian-owned forging company and an Italian construction firm have been fined after a worker fell through a roof onto a concrete floor below.

Bifrangi UK's Lincoln works, where the safety breach took place
Bifrangi UK's Lincoln works, where the safety breach took place

Lincoln Magistrates’ Court heard how on 23rd January 2018 an employee of Italian construction company Zamperoni Fratelli srl was refurbishing a shed structure at the Lincoln works of Bifrangi UK in Lincoln.

As the man worked on the roof he stepped backwards, from metal sheeting he was standing on onto a fragile roof light. The plastic material broke under his weight and he fell more than five metres to the ground. He broke both arms and three ribs.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) revealed both companies failed to risk assess and plan all aspects of the construction work on site, and failed to ensure the risks from the fragile roof lights were adequately controlled. Both companies also failed to ensure there was adequate safe access onto the roof of the shed. There was inadequate supervision and management checks throughout the work. They also failed to act on the previous instances of unsafe work to ensure safety.

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Bifrangi UK of Shardlow Works, Grange Mill Lane, Sheffield pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) and Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act. It was fined £140,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,607.

Zamperoni Flli srl of Asolo, Italy was not present in court, but in its absence was fined £54,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,240.

HSE inspector Martin Giles said after the hearing: “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. In this case the use of simple protective measures to prevent falls from and through the fragile roof light would have prevented the injury to this worker. Contractors working in host employers’ premises require adequate supervision and controls to ensure that they are working safely.”

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