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Company fined £200,000 after employee badly injured in fall

SAEMA – Specialist Access Engineering and Maintenance Association – has a long history in delivering the best training and guidance in the temporary and permanent suspended access industry. In keeping with our commitment to advancing safety through raising the standards in best practice, we keep in touch with all the latest developments – chiefly safety, worker welfare and the environment.

The following story was published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

A property management company has been fined £200,000 after an employee was left in a wheelchair after falling eight metres through a rooflight.

Robin Williamson, an asbestos surveyor employed by City Property (Glasgow) LLP, suffered severe injuries after he fell while carrying out a survey on the roof of Netherton Community Centre, Glasgow on 5 April 2018.

Mr Williamson suffered multiple skull fractures as well as a bleed to the brain and multiple spine and rib fractures. He now uses a wheelchair.

An investigation by the HSE concluded that City Property (Glasgow) LLP did not provide a safe system for working at height on the external roof areas of the community centre in that it did not plan, organise and supervise the work, to ensure that the risks were identified and adequate precautions were in place.

City Property (Glasgow) LLP of Exchange House, George Street, Glasgow pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1), 2(2)(a) and (c) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, and were fined £200,000 at Glasgow Sheriff Court on 21 December 2022.

Guidance on working at height can be found on the HSE website.

HSE principal inspector Cameron Adam said: “Falls from a height remain one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities and significant injuries in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well known.

“Falls from height are avoidable and Mr Williamson’s accident would have been prevented had the risks been properly assessed and the appropriate control measures implemented.

“Employers should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards”.

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