Working at height blog

Posted by Laura Hemsley on May 8, 2018

£850k Fine after Fall from Ladder

£850k Fine after Fall from Ladder 

Window installer fell three metres from an unsecured ladder, breaking his knee cap, an investigation has found.

A company has been prosecuted after one of its window installers fell from a ladder. The worker was attempting to install a first-floor rear bedroom window at a property when the ladder he was climbing slipped. The ladder was neither footed nor tied and the worker fell from a height of over three metres, sustaining a broken knee cap which required surgery. H.P.A.S. Limited, trading as Safestyle UK, was fined £850,000.

The HSE’s Investigation found that the company’s system for planning work at height activities was inadequate because it failed to ensure that work was carried out in a safe manner.

It was established that windows were not routinely installed from the inside and ladders were used in a way that constituted serious risk. It was also found that there was no system of monitoring or supervision in place and operatives were left to their own devices. 

In order to minimise falls from ladders the HSE advises that:

  • People using ladders are competent and have gone through adequate training and/or are adequately supervised.
  • Users of ladders are fully aware of the potential risks and any measures in place to help control them.
  • The right type of ladder is used for each job.
  • A risk assessment is carried out to determine where the hazards are in the work at height activity you have planned. 
  • The equipment is used safely and according to a safe system of work.
  • When using ladders make sure that they are either footed by another worker, or tied to the wall.
  • Regularly inspect your ladders to verify that they are in a good condition. 

The above accident could easily have been prevented if the right precautions were put in place. Check today that your systems relating to ladder use meet the grade.

Read our blog When to Use Ladders and How to Work Safely From Them and to learn how to ensure your jobs involving ladders are carried out in a safe manner.

Download our Free Ladders Safety Toolkit


The toolkit includes a ladder pre-use checklist as well as using ladders/stepladders checklists and recently updated to include a ladder register template.

Talk to an expert >

Topics: Replacing Ladders, Ladder Safety, Ladder misuse, Ladders, Workplace Accidents, Working at height, Compliance

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