A north Norfolk hotel firm has been fined £18,000 after a worker fell from a height while carrying out roof repairs.

Mackenzie Hotels, which owns the Sea Marge in Overstrand, the Dales Country House Hotel in Upper Sheringham and the Links Country Park Hotel in West Runton, admitted that work-at-height practices had not been carried out, leading to the serious injury of an employee in June 2021.

The fine was reduced from £27,000 because the company entered a guilty plea as soon as it could, but it was also ordered to pay costs of £4,570.

The employee had been working in an area of roof that was damaged - cracked tiles and battens needed to be replaced to make it watertight.

Chelmsford Magistrates Court heard that the company directed that the work should be undertaken using a three-sectioned extending ladder which was incorrectly used and was footed by resting the bottom section against the wheel of a van. 

The ladder had been positioned against the roof at a dangerously low angle and the court was told that there were two men on the ladder at the time that the fall happened. 

At the time of the incident, the employee was also wearing unsuitable footwear for the job.

North Norfolk District Council later carried out an investigation. 

James Windsor, the council’s public protection team leader, said: “This case emphasises the need for employers to undertake their work activities in a safe way and in accordance with the relevant statutory provisions. 

“While the injuries sustained from this fall were significant, they could have been much worse.

“The Health and Safety Executive identify working at height as one of the biggest causes of fatalities and major injuries with a third of all work at height accidents being caused by falls from ladders.”