Report by member of public leads to half million fine

A construction company specialising in climbing walls and adventure parks that allowed staff to work at heights of up 11m without any fall protection has been fined £500,000.

A passerby spotted the company's workers using a pallet balanced on the forks of a telehandler.
Derby Magistrates’ Court heard that the member of the public reported the activity to the firm. Despite receiving assurances that the practice would be addressed, the unsafe work at height continued. The member of the public then reported the matter to the HSE.

It was found that work was taking place on a section of roof 11m off the ground without any measures in place to stop two workers falling from its open edges. The workers had accessed the roof by climbing from the basket of a cherrypicker.

The Company based in Bulgaria but with operations in UK since 2006, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations. On 18 August 2016, it was fined £500,000 (750k w/o guilty plea) and ordered to pay costs of £8013.

Author: Simon Tingle

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Simon Belfield

Senior Associate

I am a corporate defence specialist who provides up-front regulatory compliance advice and representation to businesses and senior managers in relation to investigations and prosecutions by regulatory bodies.