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Falls from height issues emphasised in latest HSE prosecution

03 October 2016

Prosecution of a Somerset-based company following the death of a worker who fell through a factory roof skylight has further highlighted the major issue of deaths occurring in this manner.

Falls from height have been a major cause of deaths and injuries for many years and the latest prosecution took place at Taunton Crown Court.

It heard that a 46-year-old male employee of Cooper B Line (CBL) in Highbridge, Somerset died from his injuries after falling 7m onto a concrete floor.

He had been employed as a maintenance worker and had permission to work on the roof, but the court was told that there was a lack of safety measures in place.

The roofs were worked on regularly but no correct precautions had been set up to prevent falls.

A report by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the CBL management had failed to appreciate that maintenance workers were exposed to risk while working on the roofs.

There had been inadequate risk assessment and this had resulted in risks failing to be identified or any adequate control measures being established to address working at height issues.

After pleading to breaching 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work, etc, Act 1974, CBL of Walrow Industrial Estate, Highbridge, Somerset was fined £210,000 with costs of nearly £36,500.

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