UK Premier League Team Fined for Worker's 10-Foot Fall

Aston Villa, a top soccer club, has been assessed a total of $4,360 in fines and costs after admitting it violated Regulation 9(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Aston Villa Football Club Ltd, a Premier League football club in the soccer-mad United Kingdom, has been assessed a total of $4,360 in fines and costs after admitting it violated Regulation 9(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, and a contractor, Mechanical Cleansing Services Ltd, is paying $3,840 for a related violation after a worker fell about 10 feet through a skylight of a building being demolished at the team’s training facility, breaking bones in both heels, the Health and Safety Executive announced June 1.

HSE said two contract workers were draining fuel tanks on a roof during the demolition when one fell through the skylight. The 34-year-old man who fell was moving toward a ladder leaning against the front of the building to descend at the time, according to the agency. A ladder in the interior of the building was blocked at the time.

“Work at height can be very dangerous if not properly planned, and although the victim’s injuries were severe, they could have been much worse,” HSE inspector Carol Southerd said. “If the internal ladder had been used, then this incident would not have happened. A simple conversation with the club was all it would have taken to arrange for the blocked ladder to be cleared. When working at height, all workers must have adequate instruction, training, and equipment. It is vital that risks are adequately assessed and managed before employees undertake tasks in hazardous locations. There was clear failure to warn the victim or his colleague of the dangerous condition of the roof or to provide safe access to the tank."

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