£200,000 fine has been sent to Kier following a safety breach that led to a subcontractor’s member of staff falling through a roof and suffering “life changing” head injuries.
Kier failed to guarantee that its subcontractor, JHH Engineering Ltd, complied with the systems in place. The subcontractor was also fined a reduced sum of £30,000.
Southwark Crown Court explained how, on 1 December 2014, Kier Facilities Services Ltd, as facilities manager, asked JHH Engineering to fix a leak that had been found on a flat roof at Downsell Primary School.
While doing the repair work, the JHH employee fell, suffering a life-changing head injury. He has been left with significant cognitive effects including memory loss, behavioural and mood changes, and a decreased ability to care for his self.
An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that site-specific planning was not requested from JHH Engineering Ltd, nor provided, and that the work was not monitored. Kier neglected to implement its own work at height procedures and ensure subcontractors were vetted. The investigation also discovered the roof was accessed by the JHH employee using an unsecured, damaged ladder of insufficient length which was missing its rubber feet and stability bar. No harness was found, and the employee had not used the fall restraint system provided by Kier while on the roof.
JHH Engineering Ltd of Mechanics Workshop, New Lanark, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of HSWA 1974. The company was fined £30,000 and was ordered to pay costs of £5,967.12.
Kier Facilities Services Ltd of Tempsford Hall, Sandy, Bedfordshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of HSWA 1974. They were fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,923.72.
As we reported elsewhere, BSG stated a 13% increase in Work at Height breaches, which begs the question as to whether more come be done to ensure rules and regulations are followed correctly in order to keep employees safe.