News & Updates

Are you following correct working at height procedures?

A Northamptonshire painting and decorating employer has been sentenced after an employee sustained serious, life changing injuries after falling from height.

Wellingborough Magistrates’ Court heard that, an employee of Ian Ramsay was severely injured when he fell from height whilst installing a roof ladder on a pitched roof at a property in Mawsley, Northamptonshire. The fall resulted in the employee being permanently paralysed from the chest down. The homeowners hired Mr Ramsay to paint the exterior windows and soffit boards of their property, including the painting of dormer windows within their roof. The employee was in the process of setting up ladders to access the dormer windows when he fell from height.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the incident could have been prevented if:

  • the work at height hierarchy had been followed in the planning process;
  • appropriate equipment had been provided to employees, such as fully compliant scaffolding; and
  • the risk assessment had identified that this work was not short duration and that the use of ladders was not appropriate

Ian Ramsay of Padmans Close, Mawsley, Northamptonshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. He was sentenced to a 12-month community order, 160 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay costs of £2,124.28 with a surcharge of £85.

It’s sad that such a tragic accident could have so easily been avoided if basic health and safety procedures had been followed. We don’t know the reasons for these failings and it’s not our place to assume, but if you need advice around working at height, please contact us rather than take unnecessary risks.

We run regular Working at Height open training courses (half a day – the other half is Manual Handling, which is often taken in conjunction), the next of which is scheduled for 13th February 2020. You can book online or contact our Training team on 01427 678 660 to discuss your training requirements.

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