Injury Compensation News

Businessman Prosecuted for Failing to Prevent Risk of Fall from Height at Work

January 17, 2014

A businessman has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for failing to prevent the risk of a fall from height at work.

Rajesh Voralia – a textile trader with offices in West Drayton, Hillingdon – was prosecuted for failing to prevent the risk of a fall from height at work after a passing HSE inspector spotted two of his employees working dangerously close to the edge of an unprotected roof.

The official immediately stopped the men from working, and served a prohibition order on Voralia preventing any further work from taking place on the roof. Mr Voralia told the official that he was unaware the two men were on the roof and that they must have been sent up there by his assistant warehouse manager.

A subsequent HSE inspection found that access to the roof was via an unsecured ladder which had worn feet, damaged rungs and which only projected 20 cms above roof level. The roof itself was sloped and there were a number of fragile roof-lights adding further risk of a fall from height at work.

The Westminster Magistrates Court heard that Voralia was a textile trader, and that the premises in Hillingdon were used for sorting discarded rags for recycling. HSE officer Jane Wolfenden explained to the magistrates that just prior to the risk of a fall from height at work being identified on 30th August 2012, a leak had developed in the roof which was spoiling the rags.

She said “Mr Voralia told [the] HSE there was no work at height taking place in the unit despite the fact that there was a ladder available and that the unit had a mezzanine floor. Whilst there was no actual injury in this case, the risk of serious injury or death from falls during roof work is high and Mr Voralia could have easily prevented such work by removing access equipment and issuing a blanket instruction to his staff not to go on the roof”.

Magistrates find Voralia £4,000 with £3,500 costs for failing to prevent the risk of a fall from height at work after he admitted breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

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