Dental practice fined after employee fell from height
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Most of us would associate an injury caused by a fall from height with an accident on a building or construction site. It was therefore rather surprising to read that a Sheffield dental practice had been fined by the HSE following a fall by a receptionist.
She had been spending her lunch break sitting on the flat roof with colleagues when a plastic domed light gave way and she fell 3 metres onto the floor.
The HSE investigation found that the practice had been warned that the roof was fragile and that it should take steps to prevent the staff members from accessing it, but it had failed to do so. The practice was fined Â£18,500 for Health & Safety breaches and I anticipate that the injured lady will have brought a claim for compensation.
HSE inspector Mark Welsh is quoted in the HSE report as saying â€“ "While many falls take place in manufacturing and construction, the risks can be present in the most unlikely work environments and employers should assess the risks and then take the steps necessary to implement the controls needed to safeguard their employees.
"You don't have to fall from a great height to lose your life. It's wrong that workers like the one in this case suffer serious preventable injuries because simple steps have not been taken to manage obvious workplace risks."
Employers need to be conscious of not only carrying out risk assessments and health and safety reviews, but also putting into practise the recommendations.
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