Court fines council £10k after plumber falls 10ft injuring his spine
Haringey council has been fined £10,000 for health and safety breaches after a worker fell through a roof skylight injuring his spine.
The incident happened on 18 January 2007 when the worker, a trainee plumber, changing a water tank in council-owned flat. He fell about 10 ft through a skylight that was covered in loft insulation and landed onto stairs below.
He sustained injuries to his upper spine and was unable to work for the next 12 months.
At the time of the incident, he was employed by Haringey Council, working for Homes for Haringey Ltd, an arms length management organization set up to manage Haringey’s housing in 2006.
This unfortunate accident could have been prevented had a simple safe system of work been followed
Homes for Haringey, was found guilty of breaching section 2(1) of the Heath and Safety at Work Act 1974 and fined £10,000 with costs of £3,562 at City of London Magistrates’ Court last Tuesday 1 July.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is now warning employers to ensure they have safe systems for working at height in place.
HSE Inspector John Crookes said: “Arms Length Management Organisations (ALMOs) were set up to bring improved business practices into managing local authority housing stock. This includes effectively managing the health and safety of their employees.
"This unfortunate accident could have been prevented had a simple safe system of work been followed, such as using secured boards to create a stable working platform, and crawling boards where access across the unboarded parts of the loft was required.”