Window Business Handed Down Substantial Sanction after 16-Foot Workplace Fall

| Career Insights, General


In late February 2023, the Health and Safety Executive through the Birmingham Magistrates Court released a decision into the public domain finding that an organization specializing in the fitting of doors and windows was criminally liable after a member of the workforce suffered a fall from the top of a house resulting in the ribcage and back fractures.          

What Happened In The Case?

The member of the workforce had been employed by the specialist window business to provide his services in respect of a project involving the fitting of doors, windows, and connected frames. In late August 2021, the installation business attended the scene of the house to commence the fitting of a roof light. All appeared to be progressing and some scaffolding equipment was delivered to the site to start the job in earnest. However, the scaffolding equipment which had been supplied to the window and door business for the fitting of the doors and windows appears on the facts of the case to have been too large to be used on the project. When the members of the workforce attempted to fit the scaffolding equipment, somewhere along the line it suddenly dawned upon them that It could not be installed in the location on the site where it was required for the job. As a consequence of this oversight, a decision appears to have been made to create a makeshift structure for the workers to stand on and positioned it between the roof. Workforce members providing their services on the site then used an outer layer of scaffolding to enter the work location.  

The work progressed without a hitch and the frame of the roof light was fitted as was scheduled in the project plan. However, matters quickly took a dark turn for the worse when one of the members of the workforce appears to have been moving his person to the makeshift structure from the roof. However, when he placed one of his feet onto the makeshift structure it appears to have disintegrated under the weight of his foot, collapsed, and consequently, the member of the workforce fell around sixteen feet and heavily hit the floor. Following the accident, the worker sustained breakages to his ribcage and back.          

What Did The Health and Safety Executive Say?

The industry regulator felt compelled to investigate the accident and found evidence demonstrating that the decision-makers acting for the installation specialist had neglected their obligations to comply with the Work at Height Regulations, and had fallen short of their professional responsibilities to plan the project, work-related activities, and tasks. The Regulator also uncovered evidence that the window and door fitting business had fallen short of its responsibilities to ensure the work was conducted safely. The HSE also disclosed evidence that the business decision-makers had neglected their responsibilities to guide workforce members on working methods or direction on Working at Height. 

Feet to the Fire?

The Regulator put the accusation of violations of Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 to the business in the Birmingham Magistrates Court and it entered admissions. This regulation obliges businesses employing workforce members to ensure activity conducted at height does not violate health and safety. The court imposed a financial sanction of twelve-thousand pounds. 

Lessons Learned? 

This case stands as a warning to every business providing work at height and to mitigate the risk of further incidents occurring, they should: 

  • professionally plan the project 

  • ensure suitable scaffolding is available for the project

  • avoid using makeshift unstable structures and

  • provide full training to workforce members so colleagues are equipped for the job.


#BlakeMorgan #LClyde&CoLLP #CapsticksLLP #Hempsons #KingsleyNapleyLLP #RadcliffesLeBrasseur #BatesWells #CMS #DACBeachcroftLLP #FieldFisher #HerbertSmithFreehills #Russell-CookeLLP #BlackfordsLLP #CharlesRussellSpeechlysLLP #KeoughLLP #MurdochsSolicitors #StepehensonsSolicItorsLLP


[SOURCE 1] Health and Safety Executive – Company fined after worker fractures back and ribs following fall – 23rd February 2023 - Company fined after worker fractures back and ribs following fall | HSE Media Centre

[SOURCE 2] Health and Safety Executive – Fragile Roofs - Fragile roofs: Safe working practices GEIS5 (

[SOURCE 3] Regulation 4 of the Working at Height Regulations 2005 - The Work at Height Regulations 2005 (



#BlakeMorgan #LClyde&CoLLP #CapsticksLLP #Hempsons #KingsleyNapleyLLP #RadcliffesLeBrasseur #BatesWells #CMS #DACBeachcroftLLP #FieldFisher #HerbertSmithFreehills #Russell-CookeLLP #BlackfordsLLP #CharlesRussellSpeechlysLLP #KeoughLLP #MurdochsSolicitors #StepehensonsSolicItorsLLP


[SOURCE 1]Castro, Bianca – Solicitor who had a shotgun in the car fired – Law Society Gazette – 14th February 2023 

[SOURCE 3] Principles 2  to 10 of SRA Principle 2011

[SOURCE 4] SRA Outcomes – Solicitors Code of Conduct



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