The Health and Safety Executive is often involved in personal injury compensation cases against employers who may have erred in keeping their workers safe, such as a recent incident involving the receptionist of a dental practice located in Yorkshire falling through the building’s skylight and suffering serious harm.
Catherine Scarborough, the forty year old receptionist, had been eating lunch with a colleague on the roof of Firvale Dental Practice’s single storey extension in Sheffield. However the domed sky-light on the roof was unable to hold Ms Scarborough’s weight when she sat down upon it, giving way beneath her and sending her falling nearly three metres and causing knee, shoulder, back, and neck injuries as when she hit the ground below, necessitating hospital treatment.
The HSE investigated the incident, sending out inspectors to the location and discovering that there were several faults in regards to the dental practice’s roof. Investigators say that there was no sort of protection st in place to prevent anyone from falling from the edge of the roof and that it was all too easily accessible to employees, even though there had been previous warnings made that there was a potentially dangerous situation due to the fragility of the roof light.
The HSE brought charges against the operators of the dental practice, Integrated Dental Holdings, at a hearing in Sheffield Crown Court. The Kearsley, Bolton-based firm was found guilty of breaching health and safety violations, and the court fined the company £18,500 for the role it played in Ms Scarborough’s injuries.
Falls from height are all too common when it comes to work accident claims made by employees injured on the job, HSE inspectors said in the wake of the hearing.