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Wholesaler fined £25k over employee’s unprotected skylight fall

A Birmingham wholesale business must pay £25,000 after an employee fell 4.4 m through a skylight and sustained minor injuries. 


Birmingham Magistrates’ Court was told that the HK Traders’ employee had climbed up a scaffold at the company’s premises on the St Chads Industrial Estate on Brearley Close and walked onto the building’s flat roof without permission. 

However, the Birmingham City Council investigation into the incident on 20 January 2017 found there was no scaffolding. The health and safety inspector also found evidence to suggest the employee had been lifted onto the roof by standing on the pallet of a forklift truck. 

The employee was on the roof helping a contractor finish sealing a skylight. When he walked across an unprotected skylight, he fell through it to the ground, sustaining cuts. 

The health and safety inspector found that HK Traders had failed to ensure work was carried out safely.

HK Traders pleaded guilty to breaching ss 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and must also pay £3,900 costs. The judge ordered the company to pay the employee £1,000 compensation.


Nic Warburton is acting editor, IOSH Magazine

 Nick Warburton was previously acting editor of IOSH Magazine. Before that he was editor of SHP and he has also worked on Local Authority Waste and Recycling and Environmental Health Practitioner

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