Work at Height Regs apply to employee at ground level

Our client was cleaning a workshop and bending down using a hand brush to remove dust from a skirting board.

On the wall above were two rows of clamps hanging up. Photos showed that some of the lower clamps were hanging below the level of the skirting board and when moved would sway. Our client believed what probably happened on the day of her accident was that, when using the hand brush to clean near to the skirting board ,the top of the brush caught part of a clamp which knocked another clamp causing it to drop off from the hook and fall onto her head.

The Judge found a breach of Reg 10 (1) Work At Height Regulations in that the employer failed to take suitable and sufficient steps to prevent, so far as reasonably practicable, the clamps from falling .

There was also breach of 10 (2) in failing to take suitable and sufficient steps to prevent the claimant from being struck by any falling material and/or object liable to cause personal injury and, in breach of Reg 10(4), failed to ensure that the clamps were stored in such a way as to prevent the risk to the claimant from the unintended movement of the clamps.

Warrington Combined Court

Work at height Part 2

The Claimant was 4 feet 8 inches tall. Forms were stacked on top of pigeonholes behind a desk. To access the desk she stood on a footstool. As she got down from the desk to the footstool again, she fell.

The Judge accepted this was common practise and not a one off.

The Judge found the Work at Height Regulations applied. These expressly refer -reg 6- to the need for a risk assessment under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992, Reg 3. There was none here.

They provide that, if reasonably practicable, the work should be done other than at height. The pigeonholes could have been moved to a lower height .

Judgment for the claimant and no contributory negligence for “momentary inadvertence” when climbing down from the table.

Leeds CC