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Sat February 27 2021

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Ladder fall costs contractor £150k

15 Mar 19 A repair and maintenance contractor has been fined £150,000 after an employee fell two metres from a roof.

Barkingside magistrates heard how, on 7th September 2016, a roofer was working with a colleague from RFT Repairs Limited to repair a leaky roof in Seaton Avenue, Felixstowe. There was no edge protection around the roof and access to the roof was via an unsecured ladder. As the roofer put a foot on the ladder to climb down, the ladder slipped and he fell. The worker sustained contusion and bruising to his head along with hearing damage.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive found the assessment of the work prior to the arrival of the roofers on site was inadequate. There was neither a system for checking the correct equipment for work at height was being used, nor for supervision of the work on site.

RFT Repairs Limited of King Street, Norwich pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of Work at Height Regulations 2005. It was fined £150,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,391.76.

HSE inspector Prentiss Clarke-Jones, speaking after the sentencing said: “Roof work requires a high level of planning, and supervision should be in place to ensure it is carried out safely. This incident so easily could have been fatal; work at height is a well-documented, well-regulated risk and there is no excuse for getting it wrong.”

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