The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has prosecuted Premier League football club Aston Villa, after a contractor fell three metres through a roof on the training ground.
The HSE investigation found that two contractors from Mechanical Cleansing Services Ltd were working at the Bodymoor Heath complex near Sutton Coldfield, when one of them plunged three metres through a fragile roof-light.
Mechanical Cleansing Services Ltd had been contracted to drain fuel tanks on the roof during demolition of an old building on the site.
The 34-year-old worker who fell was cleaning the tanks and fell through the roof-light as he was heading towards a ladder to climb down.
An internal ladder was blocked, so Mechanical Cleansing Services’ director, Damon Roe, had decided to use a ladder against the outside front of the building to access the roof’s plant room.
However, both he and the football club failed to inform workers of the dangers or how to avoid the risk of falling through the fragile roof-lights.
The employee broke bones in the heels of his feet in the three-metre fall and was off work for more than six months.
On Tuesday (01/06/10) at Stratford Upon Avon Magistrates’ Court, Aston Villa Football Club, its contractor and Mechanical Cleansing Services’ director, Damon Roe, admitted health and safety offences.
Aston Villa Football Club Ltd admitted breaching Regulation 9(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The club was fined £1,350 and ordered to pay £1,610 costs.
Mechanical Cleansing Services Ltd – of Aston in Birmingham – admitted breaching Regulation 3(6)(a) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. The company was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £1,610 costs.
Damon Roe, as a director of Mechanical Cleansing Services Ltd, admitted breaching Section 37(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 after failing to provide adequate information about access to the site for his workers. He was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £1,610 costs.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Carol Southerd said:
‘Work at height can be very dangerous if not properly planned – and although the victim’s injuries were severe, they could have been much worse.
‘If the internal ladder had been used, then this incident would not have happened. A simple conversation with the club was all it would have taken to arrange for the blocked ladder to be cleared,’ said Ms Southerd.
‘When working at height, all workers must have adequate instruction, training and equipment. It is vital that risks are adequately assessed and managed before employees undertake tasks in hazardous locations.
‘There was clear failure to warn the victim or his colleague of the dangerous condition of the roof or to provide safe access to the tank,’ she added.
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