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Counting the cost

The Association comments on a recent prosecution following a fall from a stepladder

Counting the cost

It should have been a perfectly normal working day. Instead, it ended with one man losing his life and the company responsible facing a fine of £1million and costs of £30,000. And all because of a fall from a stepladder which could have been prevented.

On 5 September 2017, Hull Crown Court heard how a self-employed electrical contractor was contracted to complete electrical work at a bakery in Hull. The company agreed the work could be undertaken using a stepladder which it provided for this purpose.

Tragically it had failed to properly plan what should have been a straightforward task and the contractor fell from the stepladder and suffered fatal injuries as a result.

Comments Ladder Association chairman, Martin Brooke: “It is hard to imagine such an everyday task ending with such tragic consequences, when the HSE stated it could have been avoided with forethought and proper planning. Mistakes which cost someone their life and the company over one million pounds.

Falls from height are the single biggest cause of workplace deaths and one of the main causes of major injuries. It is therefore essential that any work at height, however ordinary or routine, is properly planned, supervised and carried out by competent people. Follow the three simple rules:

  • Do a risk assessment
  • Pick the right equipment for the job
  • Make sure the person is trained to use it.”

For advice and guidance on safe use of ladders and steps click here


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