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Thu January 27 2022

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Window firm fined £850k after installer’s ladder fall

11 Apr 18 Safestyle UK has been fined £850,000 after one of its window installers broke his knee cap falling from a ladder.

Sheffield Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 1st March 2017, a window installer working for HPAS Limited, trading as Safestyle UK, was attempting to install a first-floor rear bedroom window at a property on Cemetery Road, Doncaster, when the ladder he was climbing slipped.

The ladder was not footed or tied and the man fell from a height of more than three metres.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company’s system for planning work at height was inadequate in that it failed to ensure that work was carried out in a safe manner. Windows were not routinely installed from the inside and ladders were used in a way that constituted serious risk. Additionally, there was no system of monitoring or supervision in place and operatives were left to their own devices.

HPAS Limited trading as Safestyle UK, of Eldon Place, Bradford, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. It was fined £850,000 with £1,083 in costs.

HSE inspector Stuart Whitesmith said after the hearing: “This incident could easily have been prevented had the company implemented reasonably practicable precautions. Such precautions include having effective and enforced safe systems of work, whereby windows are installed internally where possible, or by using suitable access solutions, which provide edge protection, and having a formal system in place to ensure works are appropriately supervised.”

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