AKM Fabrications


  • AKM Fabrications
  • Unit J, Buckshaw Link
  • Ordnance Way, Buckshaw Village
  • Chorley, PR7 7EL

Apprentice death shows life-saving value of rubbish chutes and edge protection

Rubbish Chutes

The death of a 16-year-old apprentice has highlighted how rubbish chutes can not only carry waste materials safely to the ground; they can combine with edge protection to prevent fatal falls, too.

In the incident, which this month saw the youth’s employer fined £325,000, the teenager was working on an extension to a property in Camden Road, Leytonstone.

He was told to drop some rubbish into a ground-level skip – a practice known in the trade as ‘bombing’, when sacks of waste are simply thrown from the side of scaffolding.

To get to a position above the skip, he had to make his way across the flat roof of the extension, and down the pitched roof of the house.

From there, with no rubbish chutes in place, he threw the sack of rubble over the edge and into the skip, but then fell after it, sustaining fatal head injuries.

The incident highlights the importance of handling waste materials carefully to carry them safely to the ground.

But it also serves as a reminder that edge protection is an essential safety precaution at all times when working at height – even when objects are deliberately being dropped from a roof edge.