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A member of the public complained to Walltopia, which is based in Letnitsa, Bulgaria, that its employees were working on a pallet balanced on a telehandler's forks during construction of a high ropes adventure course at Markeaton Park, Derby.
The company promised to stop the unsafe practices, but failed to do so. The member of the public reported the issue to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which found employees working on a section of open-edged roof 11 m off the ground. The workers climbed on to the roof from the basket of a cherry picker.
Walltopia was fined £500,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8,013 after pleading guilty to breaching reg 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations which requires employers to ensure work at height is managed safely.
After the case, HSE inspector Lee Greatorex said: "Using a pallet on a telehandler for planned work at height is an unacceptable means of access. It appears that the company failed to put in place control measures after being alerted about this."
Specialist drilling contractor Stephen Harrison was employed by Jehu Project Services to carry out refurbishment work at a care home in Pontcanna, Cardiff. Harrison stepped off the tower scaffold on 28 July 2015, and onto a loose concrete block on the ground floor. He fell backwards, head first, into a rubble-filled skip at the bottom of the lift pit.
Father of seven Lance Davies, 46, was working on the roof of an industrial premises in Caerphilly, south Wales on 15 December 2011. He fell more than 7 m through the roof light and died. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said the work at height control measures at the Crumlin site were inadequate.
Two employees of Phil Coppell were repairing a conservatory roof at a property in Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside, in June last year when one lost his footing. The 59-year-old fell 2.5 m onto the patio below and sustained a bleed on the brain from a fractured skull, and a shattered eye socked. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said measures were not in place to prevent workers falling from height. It served Phil Coppell with an improvement notice, after which the company implemented a barrier for use as edge protection.
Manchester-based Phil Coppell specialises in conservatory roof installations. On 29 June 2015 two employees were repairing a tiled conservatory roof at a property in Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside. The job required them to take off the tiles, peel back a waterproof membrane and replace a piece of plywood that was sagging.
South Wales-based J G Hale Construction was building 54 timber-framed houses and flats on the site of a former primary school in the town of Blaenavon. Work began on 24 October 2014 and was due to finish in January this year. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspected the site on 27 July 2015, and found fire safety failings and a failure to control the risk of pedestrian workers being hit by construction vehicles, including a large materials handler, a dump truck, tracked excavators and delivery lorries.
Keith Chandler, 63, was working as part of a team at Brentwood School Charitable Incorporated Organisation replacing part of a bay window at a residential flat in the school grounds. Chandler was standing on the window’s roof when he fell 2.6 m after his foot became caught. He was taken to hospital with chipped vertebrae and a broken collarbone. The Health and Safety Executive found there was no guardrail on the top of the bay, or any other means of protection to prevent the workers from falling. There were also no supervisory arrangements.