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The owner of a double-glazing firm has admitted he failed to properly protect a worker who fell five metres from a ladder.

Blackpool Magistrates’ Court heard that Craig Goss, trading as Direct Windows Co, had been contracted to install double glazing at a house in Bispham, Lancashire. On 5 April 2011, one of Goss’ employees, a 68-year-old man who wishes to remain anonymous, climbed a ladder to measure a window at the property. He was allowed to work alone without anyone at the foot of the ladder to stop it falling.

While he was measuring the window, which was located on the first floor of the property, the ladder slipped and he fell five metres and landed on a concrete patio. He suffered a broken knee and ankle, four broken ribs, and a punctured lung. He has been unable to return to work owing to his injuries. 

The HSE’s investigation learned that the worker was employed as a handyman and was not trained to install windows. He was asked by his line manager to carry out the work, as there was other maintenance work to do at the property. He was not trained to work at height and, by carrying out the work, he was breaching the company’s own safety procedures, which state that only trained workers can use ladders, and that two staff should be present so one can hold the ladder.

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