Construction Health and Safety Consultancy and CDM Adviser Services

Dundee Firms Fined After a Fall from Height
Posted by David Cant on January 27, 2012

A 23 year old man was seriously injured at work in 2008. He has been left with constant pain and is continuing to make a slow recovery more than 3 years after an accident which could have been prevented while at work.

Christopher Carson was an electrician’s labourer and at the time of his accident he was an employee of Robert A.S Crockett and Partners. The firm Mr Carson was employed by had been contracted so that a lighting system could be installed at Dundee Cold Stores, the contractors of this job was Electroguard Security Systems.

The accident occurred when Mr Carson was working to install a brand new security system. The cables needed to be attached to a wall and one of the cables was on the roof. In order to go and fetch the cable Mr Carson used a movable platform so that he would be able to get onto the roof and collect the cable. He walked across, picked up the cable and as he came back to the moveable platform he walked over a roof light which was unable to take the extra weight. Mr Carson fell straight through the light and onto some machinery, finally ending up on the floor below.

Mr Carson suffered numerous fractures and injuries. The main damage was done to his back, his left shoulder and also a puncture wound which was caused by a drill bit which was being carried in his pocket at the time of the fall. Surgery was required to help repair the damage and a course of physiotherapy was prescribed.

Ask Your Health and Safety Consultant about Risk Assessments

After the HSE investigated they decided to prosecute all three of the companies involved at Dundee’s Sherriff Court.  None of the companies had a written method statement available to show the inspectors and it was discovered that Dundee Cold Stores did not request a risk assessment from the other two firms.

Electroguard had previously created a working at height risk assessment although the assessment was not created for the job Mr Carson was working on at the time. The risk assessment had not been shared with Crockett and Partners who were responsible for the work at height and therefore there was a lack of safety procedures and systems in place to help prevent any accidents which are common when working at height.

Health and Safety Services Include Training for All

The HSE inspectors found that Mr Carson had been given no training by Crockett and Partners and the Dundee Cold Stores failed to hold any safety meetings or inductions either before or after work had commenced on site. The court decided to find Crockett and Partners £66,000, Electroguard Security Systems were fined £135,000 and Dundee Cold Stores were also fined £135,000.

Workplace Risk assessments and training are just two of the health and safety services which are available to businesses of all sizes. By using the skills and experience of health and safety consultants accidents like this can be avoided and you are able to do your legal and moral duty to ensure your workplace is as safe as possible. Call 0800 1488 677 to find out more.


David Cant is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner extraordinaire. He has a wealth of Industry experience and is the MD of Veritas Consulting. David also Blogs about Health and Safety here Health and Safety Consultants

His aim is to flavour Health and Safety with integrity, served with a side of humour You can find David on - Twitter and Google also Linkedin

This post has been filed in: Health and Safety Policy, Health and Safety Regulations, Health and Safety Services, Health and Safety Training, Workplace Safety

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