A company and its director have been sentenced after an employee suffered serious injuries from falling approximately three metres off a ladder.

Andrew Smith, an employee of Profascias Ltd, fractured his femur, elbow, arm, and pelvis whilst working on a project at Park Lane Primary School in Tilehurst, Reading, on July 28, 2021.

Mr Smith, 53, had been employed to replace guttering and supply fascia boards and soffits at the school.

However, the ladder he was using against the school wall slipped, resulting in his fall and subsequently, a sixteen-day hospitalisation period.

Mr Smith later underwent surgery to insert a bolt into his hip and a metal plate into his arm.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident revealed inadequate planning of the task by both Profascias Ltd and its director, John Nolan.

Notably, the investigation found that a safe platform like a properly erected scaffold should have been provided, as the work required both hands and could not be executed safely from a ladder.

Profascias Ltd, based in Sandy Lane, Pamber Heath, Tadley, Hampshire, admitted to violating Section 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

The firm was penalised £6,000 and ordered to shoulder £2,000 in costs at the Slough Magistrates’ Court on December 18, 2023.

District Judge Goozee said: "Because of the financial penalty, the company may end up being wound up completely; but that is a consequence of the conviction."

John Nolan also pleaded guilty to breaching the same section under Section 37(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

He was given a 12-month community order, mandating him to complete 180 hours of unpaid work, and must pay £1,000 in costs.

HSE inspector Rachael Newman said: "This worker’s injuries were serious.

"This incident could have been avoided through the selection of suitable work equipment to prevent persons from falling.

"Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities and injuries in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well known."

This HSE prosecution was handled by HSE enforcement lawyer Jon Mack and supported by HSE paralegal officer Cristina Alcov.