Another Work at Height Fatality

A healthcare firm is fined £170,000 and ordered to pay a further £82,145 in prosecution costs on 22 November 2013 for serious safety failings following the death of a worker who fell nearly six metres from scaffolding.

TRU Ltd, which was in charge of the construction site, was prosecuted by Britain’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation found the scaffolding was dangerous.This was due in particular to a lack of guard rails and inadequate decking. In addition, TRU Ltd’s site employees were not trained in safety, there were no risk assessments and there were no method statements.

During a five-day trial at Liverpool Crown Court, the jury heard that TRU specialises in providing rehabilitation for people with brain injuries, but that it also took on some building projects. The self-employed joiner had been working on the roof trusses for the extension to the house when he fell from the scaffolding. He suffered critical head injuries and died in hospital the following day.

TRU Ltd, which now trades as TRU (Transitional Rehabilitation Unit) Ltd, was found guilty of two separate breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 states: “It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.”

Section 3(1) of the Act states: “It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.”

The HSE Press Release is here.

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