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Aston Villa FC Fined After Safety Breach

Aston Villa FC have been fined £1,350 and ordered to pay costs of £1,610 after admitting breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act, resulting in a contracted worker being injured.

The 34-year-old contractor, who was helping with the demolition of a building at the club’s training ground at Bodymoor Heath, was off work for more than six months after breaking bones in his heel during a fall through a fragile rooflight. The unnamed worker, working for Mechanical Cleansing Services Ltd., fell more than three metres through the roof of the building when attempting to drain fuel tanks positioned there.

Aston Villa FC and Mechanical Cleansing Services Ltd. had been adjudged to have failed to inform workers about the dangers present when working at height.  Both parties, including Managing Director of Mechanical Cleansing Services Ltd., Damon Roe, were all fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £1,610 in costs.

Mr. Roe decided to use a ladder by the front of the building to grant access to the roof after discovering an internal ladder was out of use. However, both he and Aston Villa FC failed to inform workers of the dangers of working at height, particularly in how to avoid the dangers of falling through the rooflights, breaching aspects of both the Health and Safety at Work Act and Work at Height Regulations.

Carol Southerd, HSE inspector said:

“Work at height can be very dangerous if not properly planned and although the victim’s injuries were severe, they could have been much worse.

“If the internal ladder had been used, then this incident would not have happened. A simple conversation with the club was all it would have taken to arrange for the blocked ladder to be cleared.

“When working at height all workers must have adequate instruction, training and equipment. It is vital that risks are adequately assessed and managed before employees undertake tasks in hazardous locations. There was clear failure to warn the victim or his colleague of the dangerous condition of the roof or to provide safe access to the tank.”

1st June 2010 11:19 am

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