£18,000 fine for breaching Work at Height Regulations 2005

A property company in Manchester has received a fine of £18,000 plus costs of £4,115 after pleading guilty to a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

It was discovered that staff working at the company were at risk of suffering a personal injury at work after they were seen working on a construction site without proper safety equipment.

Two employees were seen on the sixth floor of an apartment block in the city fitting glass balconies. However, the property company had not provided them with suitable safety equipment to stop them plunging 65ft to the ground. If the men had been involved in an accident, personal injury solicitors would have found it easy to prove that the company was negligent and large personal injury compensation settlements would undoubtedly have followed.

At the beginning of the project, scaffolding had been in place around the building but it was taken away to save costs and the men just had a harness and guardrail to protect them from falling.

The case was held at Trafford Magistrates’ Court where a Health and Safety Executive Inspector explained that there was no way of knowing whether the harness and guardrail would have been able to hold the men on the balcony. If one man had slipped, his colleague would have been taken with him and both men could have died.

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