A window fitting company and the principal contractor at a construction site have been fined for safety at height failings after a worker fell a total of three metres while installing glazed units.

Bournemouth Magistrates’ Court heard how an employee of the window company was installing glazed units into a block of flats on a construction site with a principal contractor on site.

The worker had been carrying window frames through the stairwell of the block of flats under construction. There were no stairs in place, just a ledge which was part of the structure that would act as a landing half way up the stairs once they were installed. After unloading the frames, the employee and a colleague accessed the first floor through a void.  As the employee climbed onto the first floor from the ledge, he slipped, falling approximately 1.7 metres back to the landing and then a further 1.3 metres to the ground floor. He sustained two fractured ribs and a broken thumb.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that the window firm had failed to properly plan, supervise or carry out the work at height in a safe manner and that the main contractor both failed to plan, manage and monitor the construction phase and to provide workers with a site induction.