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School Fined After Worker Fell From Height

Recently, a school in Brentwood, Essex, pleaded guilty in court after being found to have breached health and safety regulations following the fall of a worker who was subsequently injured.

Last updated: 08/02/2021

Recently, a school in Brentwood, Essex, pleaded guilty in court after being found to have breached health and safety regulations following the fall of a worker who was subsequently injured.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard evidence on how a maintenance team was working to replace components of an existing system on the bay window of residential accommodation within school grounds in January 2014. A 63 year old Work at Height operative was working on the roof of the bay window when he got his foot caught. He then fell approximately 2.6 metres to the ground below. He was taken to hospital and when he arrived doctors found that he had suffered serious injuries that included a broken collarbone and chipped vertebrae.

When the incident was brought to the attention of the authorities, a subsequent investigation was launched into the incident by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). They found that there were no effective Guardrails or any other means of Roof Edge Protection installed at the property which would have potentially prevented workers from falling from a height. Investigators also found that the school made no supervisory arrangements, and as a result, the work was not carried out safely. It quickly became clear that the school had failed to provide adequate Fall Protection to the Work at Height operatives, and that this played a leading role in the incident.

Following the incident, the Brentwood School Charitable Incorporated Organisation pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. As a result, the school was subsequently fined a total of £40,000, and they were also ordered to pay £1,477 in costs.

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