Berneslai Homes blamed for inadequate planning and supervision after employee broke three ribs in 5m fall

A housing firm has been convicted of breaching health and safety rules after a worker fell from a rooftop while carrying out repairs.

Berneslai Homes of Barnsley was yesterday fined £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,022.

On 20 January, Paul Pickering, an employee of Berneslai Homes, was carrying out repair work on the roof of a council property, but the court found that inadequate planning and supervision meant that the work method adopted by Pickering was “unsafe”. He fell approximately 5m and suffered three broken ribs and severe bruising.

Commenting on the hearing, David Stewart, an inspector with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), said: “Work at height must always be properly planned, appropriately supervised and carried out in a safe manner. Berneslai Homes failed to ensure that the risks involved in this work were adequately assessed and controlled.”

Falls from height remain one of the most common injuries highlighted in the HSE's 2007/08 statistics, released last week.