Working at height: Electrical contractor in court for uncovered floor hatches

Working at height: Electrical contractor in court for uncovered floor hatches.

Whilst this happened to an Aberdeen based electrical company, it could easily have happened to any builder or scafolder. R.B. Wilson (Electrical) Ltd was contracted to rewire and install new heating systems in Aberdeenshire Council properties and have been fined for failing to put in place adequate barriers and physical warning signs around open floor hatches in a residential property.

As a consequence of this failure the resident of the property and her brother-in-law fell into one of the uncovered floor hatches and both suffered injuries.

On 19 and 20 February 2018 employees of the company were working at the property when they failed to put in place suitable and sufficient measures to prevent persons from falling into the uncovered floor hatches.

The HSE’s investigation concluded that there was nothing in place to prevent either the resident of the property or her brother-in-law from falling through the uncovered floor hatch at the rear of the property. If adequate barriers and physical warning signs had been in place around the uncovered floor hatch then the incidents would have been prevented.

R.B. Wilson (Electrical) Limited, of 1 East Craibstone Street, Aberdeen pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £24,000.

This is why safety inspections are such an important part of monitoring the work that is being undertaken, whilst it may not have prevented the incident it may have identified failings at an early stage in order that improvements could have been made. We often find that trap doors, particullarly on scafolds are left open for easy access but the consequences of a person falling through can be far reaching.

If yo want more informatoin regarding the safe work at height or how site visits could benefit you, call us on 01462 892 021 for more details