This is an interesting case and highlights the importance of control of contractors coming to site and who is responsible for their safety. Our client had robust processes in place however a helpful cleaning contract who was a key holder for all areas thought he would assist and open locked doors for the specialist contractor to access the roof without informing our client and denying him the opportunity to adequately check credentials, control access, monitor the workers.
Business Design Centre fined £300k for contractor roof fall.
3rd Oct 16 London exhibition venue firm, The Business Design Centre Ltd, and a building contractor have been fined for safety failings after a specialist contractor fell through a skylight.
Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard how Islington’s Business Design Centre allowed workers to cross an unsafe roof, which contained three fragile skylights and open edges. The organisation failed to prevent contractors crossing the same unsafe roof on a number of occasions.
The court also heard that James Murphy, 64, from Chigwell in Essex, who had been appointed by The Business Design Centre Ltd to undertake repair work at the site, had led a specialist lead contractor over the unsafe roof on 14th May 2015. As he walked over the roof, the lead contractor fell through a skylight, falling 5.5 metres. His injuries included a shattered pelvis, a broken wrist and a broken elbow.
An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that the Business Design Centre had failed to ensure that access to and from the areas of the roof that needed repairing was suitable and safe, and that sufficient measures were in place to protect against the risks of falling from height.
James Murphy failed to ensure that the job of accessing and then inspecting the auditorium roof was properly planned.
The Business Design Centre Ltd, of Upper Street, Islington, pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, was fined £300,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,925.56
James Murphy, of High Road, Chigwell, Essex, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1)(a) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. He was fined £4,000 and also ordered to pay costs of £2,925.56.
The specialist contractor was familiar with working on church windows and not familiar with roof work and failure under CDM 2015 to appropriately plan the work.
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