Safety barriers on elevated working positions are an important way to prevent people and objects falling from the edge and either sustaining an injury directly, or potentially inflicting one on people passing below.
In either instance, the damage done to workers and passers-by can be severe, and the punishments are understandably severe too.
Earlier this month, the Sentencing Council published new guidelines to ensure consistent standards, and to hand out the harshest punishments for the most severe health and safety failures.
Council member Michael Caplan QC said: “Our proposals will help ensure a consistent approach to sentencing, allowing fair and proportionate sentences across the board, with some of the most serious offenders facing tougher penalties.”
Obviously the most serious incidents are those in which a fatality occurs, and the guidelines deal with corporate manslaughter cases accordingly.
Falls from height are one of the most common causes of serious workplace injuries and fatalities alike – but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Safety barriers provide a relatively simple physical means by which to prevent a fall, not only keeping employees safe, but reducing the risk of facing enforcement action and criminal punishment too.