Dorset construction company sentenced after worker falls from height

Cutler Bros and its director, Roger Martin Cutler have been sentenced after a worker fell through a skylight during the construction of a new farm building in Wimborne.

Poole Magistrates’ Court heard that on 22 February, 2019, a self-employed labourer was working with another colleague to fit roof sheets to the newly constructed steel framed barn. While working from the roof of an existing, adjacent barn, he fell through a fragile skylight in the barn roof almost four meters to the floor below. He suffered head and facial injuries, was knocked unconscious and spent nearly two weeks in hospital.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the work had not been properly planned. The method of work meant that workers had to operate near to a fragile roof without having sufficient platforms and guard rails in place.

Cutler Bros pleaded guilty to breaching Section 9(2) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,600.

Roger pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37(1) of Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and has been fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,200.

Speaking after the hearing, Georgina Symons, an HSE inspector, said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply using correct control measures and following safe working practices.

“Falls from height remains one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities/injuries in this country, and the risks associated with working at height are well known.”