Integrated Dental Holdings, a leading Bolton-based private dental practice, has been ordered to pay fines of £90,000 at Sheffield Crown Court following an incident where a receptionist fell through the rooflight of practice located in Sheffield on 25 March 2009. The receptionist was spending her lunch break on the flat roof of a single-storey with a co-worker at the at the dental practice in Firvale
After she sat on rooflight it collapsed, she fell three metres to the ground inside the practice. She subsequently sustained back, shoulder, knee and neck injuries. Apparently at least five other workers had used the roof, all of which were at risk of suffering injury from falling off the edge of the roof or through the rooflights, just like the receptionist.
Four years before the incident occurred, a health and safety consultant working for the company identified lack of protection to the edges of the roof in addition to the rooflights’ fragility in a risk assessment they produced. The dental practice had failed to act on advice to make the roof less accessible to employees.
The dental practice which which has more than 250 businesses in the UK, was fined £18,500 with £71,632.79 costs after being found guilty of violating the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 .
Health Safety Executive Inspector Mark Welsh had this to say on the matter –
“While many falls take place in manufacturing and construction, the risks can be present in the most unlikely work environments and employers should assess the risks and then take the steps necessary to implement the controls needed to safeguard their employees.”