We recently brought you news of the Safestyle UK case, regarding a worker who fell from a ladder, resulting in injury and ultimately a court case…

, Letters, News

However, what doesn’t seem to be clear is whether or not the installer who hurt himself was an employee or a sub-contractor ?

One of our readers wrote in:

“Being involved in domestic installations in the past ..sub-contractors are self employed and not subject to the same safety criteria that the employer is bound by…although we made clear to sub-contractors safe working was an expected …when on site the responsibility is theirs. Most installing companies in my experience use sub-contractors for this reason. If this breach of health & Safety applies to sub-contractors as it does to employees then the ramifications for the industry could be huge as higher installation costs must be a consequence.”

Can anyone comment further on this?

Safestyle UK was sentenced on 10th April 2018, after a worker fell from a ladder sustaining a fracture to his lower leg.

Sheffield Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 1 March 2017, a window installer working for H.P.A.S. Limited, trading as Safestyle UK, was attempting to install a first-floor rear bedroom window at a property on Cemetery Road, Doncaster, when the ladder he was climbing slipped. The ladder was not footed or tied and the operative fell from a height of over three metres, sustaining a broken knee cap which required surgery.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company’s system for planning work at height was inadequate in that it failed to ensure that work was carried out in a safe manner. Windows were found to be not routinely installed from the inside and ladders were used in a way that constituted serious risk. Additionally, there was no system of monitoring or supervision in place and operatives were left to their own devices.

H.P.A.S. Limited trading as Safestyle UK, of Style House, Eldon Place, Bradford, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of The Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £850,000 with £1,083 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Stuart Whitesmith said: “This incident could easily have been prevented had the company implemented reasonably practicable precautions.

“Such precautions include having effective and enforced safe systems of work, whereby windows are installed internally where possible, or by using suitable access solutions which provide edge protection, and having a formal system in place to ensure works are appropriately supervised.”