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This article was published on August 17th, 2015
A roofing contractor has been fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £3,415 in costs after one of its employees fell seven metres through a fragile roof.
The accident happened as the 26-year-old employee was kneeling on a scaffolding board on top of the unstable roof. He accidentally fell forward onto the scaffold board and smashed through a roof light. He fell seven metres and landed on a pallet which was stacked with ceramic items.
The Magistrate Court heard that the company had not done a sufficient risk assessment and had failed to provide suitable fall prevention equipment to ensure that work on the fragile roof was safe. There was no planning, inadequate equipment and ineffective management of the job.
As a result of the accident the worker suffered extensive injuries to his back and sternum and had to wear a full body brace for six weeks.
The roofing contractor was found guilty to breaches of Regulations 4(1) and 9(2) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
An HSE inspector said:
“This incident caused serious injuries that could have cost a young man his life or prevented him from being able to walk again.
“The risks of working on fragile roofs are well-known but so too are the ways to manage those risks. Sadly, HSE inspectors too often find blatant disregard of easily-accessible guidance, which frequently results in life-changing injuries.
“Work on fragile roofs must be correctly planned and managed to ensure the safety of all involved. The inadequate and unsafe way in which this job was carried out highlights the risks of working at height and how important it is to do it safely right from the start.”
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