Worker fractures skull in conservatory fall

A conservatory roof manufacturer and installer has been fined over £40,000 with costs after an employee suffered serious injuries after falling about 2.5m from a conservatory roof while carrying out repairs to the roof.

The HSE investigation following the incident found that there were no preventative measures in place to prevent the risk of a fall from height.  The company had already been investigated by the HSE for serious safety failings and failing to report a previous incident when the same employee fell off a roof and lost consciousness and another employee fall through a skylight and suffered multiple broken ribs.

Speaking after the hearing the HSE Inspector commented that “This incident could have been avoided if the company had learnt lessons from two previous similar incidents in 2013. The risks of working from height are well known and there is plenty of guidance available. Employees of this company were exposed to the risks of falls over a prolonged period of time. Generally work of this nature is at the rear of premises and is not visible or easy to monitor, however this prosecution should highlight, in particular to other companies who carry out work on conservatory roofs, that they should have in place control measures to prevent the risk of falls”

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, Regulation 3(1) of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995, and Regulation 4(1) of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013.

All work at height should be properly planned and the correct equipment specified so that the work can be carried out safely.  On this occasion, the company could have used our Conservatory Roof Access System which is a specifically designed two piece system for accessing conservatory roofs for cleaning and maintenance purposes.