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Sign fitter left with a fractured skull after 5 m roof fall

A Sheffield-based signage company has been fined after a worker suffered sustained life-threatening injuries when he fell from a roof.

Warburton Signs was contracted to install a large sign to the gable end of a building and, on 13 April 2015, three fitters climbed onto a neighbouring flat roof to erect it. One of the workers fell from the roof and sustained a fractured skull and spine, a collapsed lung, and several broken ribs. 

Following an investigation, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) concluded Warburton Signs had failed to implement any measures to prevent a fall from height. 

Warburton Signs pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations, which requires every employer to properly plan and supervise work at height. It was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,538. 

After the hearing at Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court, HSE inspector Helen Barley said: “Failure to prevent falls when working at height can lead to serious injury or death.”


Keeley Downey is acting deputy editor of IOSH Magazine. She is a former editor of Biofuels International, Bioenergy Insight and Tank Cleaning Magazine

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