Information bite 235: Construction worker dies after fall from mobile tower

A construction company has been fined after an employee died following a fall from a mobile tower.  Cambridge Magistrates Court heard how on 15 September 2017, an employee was working from a mobile tower levelling a steel beam that was seated on a door lintel. This involved using a crowbar to lever the beam up for a work colleague to insert a metal packer into the gap.

The employee caught his jacket sleeve on the tower, lost balance and fell over a single guard rail and down to ground level.

He was taken to hospital but died three months later due to medical complications.

An HSE investigation found that the mobile tower wasn’t configured correctly for the task due to the limited headroom; and that double guard rails could have been used, if configured correctly.

The employer based in Cambridge pleaded guilty to breaching Work at Height Regulations and was fined £16,000 with £5,139.80 costs.

Speaking after the hearing, the HSE inspector said: “Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well known.

“Those in control of work have a responsibility to select access equipment that is suitable for the task and the work environment and ensure that it is safely used.”


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