Hampshire firm prosecuted for worker’s fall from height

A Hampshire firm has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after a worker’s fall from height.

The 27 year old man, who has asked not to be named, sustained a fractured forearm in a fall from height when he fell two metres from an unguarded office roof that was being used to store boxes.

Cannon Technologies Ltd, of New Milton, had been using the internal area over the office as an improvised area for storage. It was common place for staff to use a set of steps to climb up to retrieve flat packed boxes.

The man fell from the roof when his foot got tangled in a coil of wires. He sustained a fractured forearm, which will still not fully straighten, and he also broke a toe.

The resulting HSE investigation found that the company had failed to provide edge protection around the office roof and failed to provide a safe system of accessing the storage area.

West Hampshire Magistrates Court was told that the man used a set of airplane steps to get to the roof and pass down boxes. As he started to climb back down onto the steps, his foot became caught in the wire. This caused him to lose his balance making the steps rock from side to side before toppling over. The man fell to the packing room floor.

He has since returned to work.

Vicki Wright, expert personal injury lawyer at Swain & Co says, “This accident was preventable and the injuries could have been avoided if the company had properly accessed the risks involved.”

Vicki adds, “Just because practices in a firm become common place, does not mean that companies and employees should not question existing work methods.”