AN ASBESTOS REMOVAL COMPANY has been fined after a worker’s cement sheet roof fall and fractured a vertebrae bone in his back.
Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard that, on 15 August 2017, whilst replacing a garage roof at a domestic property in lnverurie, David Ross an employee of NJS (Scotland) Limited, fell approximately two metres through the roof whilst removing bolts, resulting in a back injury.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that NJS (Scotland) Limited failed to provide a suitable work platform from which to work to prevent employees falling from or through the roof of the garage.
The company ought to have been able to anticipate and solve the challenges presented by a double skinned roof given their extensive experience of working at height including roof dismantling and replacement, its health and safety procedures manual and its equipment such as a mobile elevated work platform (MEWP), crawl boards and fall arrest harnesses, which the operatives were appropriately trained and certified to use.
‘Complacent in its Approach‘
The HSE inspector considered that the company was complacent in its approach to this much smaller scale domestic job. There would normally be a pre job toolbox talk and all operatives would be required to sign that they had received and understood the plan of work before the job began, but that did not happen on this occasion.
NJS (Scotland) Limited of Pinefield Parade, Pinefield Industrial Estate, Elgin pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and were fined £8,000.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Elizabeth Hunter said: “Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well known.”