Teaching Assistant Falls Through Ceiling and Breaks Back in School
A junior school in Todmorden has been sentenced after a teaching assistant fell through a fragile ceiling. The employee dropped four metres down through a loft space above the school hall, resulting in serious personal injury.
The fall from height accident occurred after the TA, who entered the loft space to look for a spare desk, immediately stepped through a non-boarded area. After falling through the ceiling and down several meters, she suffered a broken back. She was hospitalised for three weeks.
The school pleaded guilty to breaching section 6 of the Work at Height Regulations of 2005 after this workplace accident’s investigation by HSE. They were fined $4,000 and ordered to pay cots in excess of £900. Charlotte Bligh, HSE inspector, said:
“The school failed to take suitable and sufficient measures to prevent events like this.”
“This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices.”
Falling through a ceiling can quite easily prove fatal, and in this instance, it’s lucky that the teaching assistant only suffered back injuries. Unfortunately, as a cost and time saving measure, many roof voids and loft spaces aren’t properly boarded. This is particularly true of old buildings, where such spaces weren’t really designed for storage. This task was likely destined to result in a fall through the ceiling. Had this TA managed to acquire the desk she had been sent to find, it would have only come down with her a little later, as she struggled to navigate the space with a piece of furniture in tow. There was no way this instruction was safe, and the employer should have known the space to be too dangerous to work in. Such forward-thinking would have prevented the accident at work altogether.
Have you Fallen Through a Ceiling at Work?
Falling through a ceiling may seem like a “nobody to blame” situation, but it is one of the most common forms of fall from a height accident. Employers need to accurately assess the environment an employee is expected to work in. Whilst this is more of a given in the construction industry, the lack of foresight in cases like this typically explain the large number of workplace accidents seen in the education sector.
If you’ve suffered from a fall through a ceiling, chances are you were put in an unsafe position, and your employer is to blame. If you’re at all unsure, our friendly experts can help you navigate your accident at work claim – for free – to establish a case for your injuries. We even provide our services on a no win, no fee* basis, to make claiming that much less stressful. Contact our legal experts on 08082391859^ and start your fall through a ceiling compensation claim today.
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