A company was sentenced today after a worker fell from a ladder sustaining a fracture to his lower leg. 
The operative was attempting to install a first-floor rear bedroom window at a property, when the ladder he was climbing slipped on the surface. The ladder was not footed or tied, and the operative fell from a height of over three metres, sustaining a broken knee cap which required surgery. 
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found 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. Working at Height regulations have strict guidance and advice on using ladders, which is still being ignored. Ladders were used in a way that constituted serious risk to the company’s workforce. Additionally, there was no system of monitoring or supervision in place and operatives were left to their own devices. 
 
The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of The Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £850,000 with £1,083 in costs. 
 
Safe systems of work need to be enforced along with safer measures rather than quick fixes or cheaper options to get the job done. 
 
Such precautions include having effective and enforced safe systems of work, or by using suitable access solutions which provide edge protection and having a formal system in place to ensure works are appropriately supervised and managed correctly. 
 
Working at Height can be anything where somebody has to step up, climb down, climb on or constitutes a higher level than ground level whilst at work. 
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