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Legal Case Highlights Importance of Height Safety

Working at height is inherently dangerous and so if your firm is involved in activities like this, it’s vital you take the issue of safety seriously.

Working at height is inherently dangerous and so if your firm is involved in activities like this, it’s vital you take the issue of safety seriously. Any lapses that occur could have tragic consequences for your personnel and they could also result in long and costly legal proceedings.

The good news is it’s now easier than ever to source superb fall arrest products and by utilising these systems properly, you should stand a good chance of keeping your personnel out of harm’s way.

Too late for one firm

One business that is fully aware of the serious nature of this issue is Lion Steel Equipment. The organisation recently pleaded guilty to the corporate manslaughter of one of its employees in relation to a fall that occurred in May 2008. It was ordered to pay £480,000 plus costs of £84,000 over the course of four years. The firm is only the third in the UK to be convicted under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act since it was implemented in 2008.

The incident took place in Hyde, Cheshire and saw employee Steven Berry fall through a fragile roof panel. The 45-year-old died as a result of his injuries.

Substandard safety measures

An investigation conducted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that Lion Steel did not offer health and safety training to Mr Berry and considerable sections of the roof were fragile. Also, no risk assessment was made concerning workers operating on the roof.

Utter disregard

Commenting on the case, Mr Berry’s widow Hilary said: “Lion Steel’s complete and utter disregard for the laws that were there to keep my husband safe means that my daughters no longer have a father and I now face life without the person who was by my side for over 20 years.”

Meanwhile, HSE inspector David Norton said: “The risks from working at height are well known, with hundreds of people killed or seriously injured in British workplaces every year. Yet Lion Steel regularly allowed employees onto the roof without any thought for their safety.”

Being proactive

If you’re determined that your firm will not allow lapses like this, you might want to take a look at the products and services we can offer here at Heightsafe. We provide a range of personal protection products including anchor systems, safety lines, edge protection and much more. We can also supply custom-build guardrails to suit a variety of applications, including ladders, gates and access platforms.

In addition, we offer full system design, development, installation and maintenance. So, by adopting a proactive stance and getting in touch with us, you could dramatically boost safety levels within your organisation.


Meanwhile, you can trust the quality of our systems. They meet the highest safety standards and comply fully with the relevant safety legislation. This means you can benefit from considerable peace of mind.

To find out more about what we have to offer, just take a look around the rest of our website or get in touch.

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