A worker suffered serious injuries when he plunged nine metres through a fragile warehouse roof in Northampton.
The man was walking on fragile asbestos cement sheeting during roofing work when it gave way beneath him and he fell onto a metal pallet and then the concrete floor.
He sustained three fractures to his right arm, multiple fractures to his face and head, a punctured lung, damage to his chest and a severe gash to his right leg. He still suffers from reduced movement in his right arm and right leg, numbness in his left arm, chest problems and dizzy spells and has so far been unable to return to work.
The scaffolding company that employed him, together with a roofing company, were prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation identified they had both failed to make sure the work was carried out safely.
Both companies had apparently agreed safety precautions in advance of the work but had failed to ensure they were implemented properly during the course of the work, exposing the workers to extreme risk.
The scaffolding company was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,640 after admitting two breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and a single breach of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.
The roofing company was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay costs of £1,400 after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
“The dangers of working at height are well-known in industry, yet workers still die or are permanently disabled because of the poor safety standards and lack of safeguards that still exist among some contractors,” commented HSE Inspector Richard Lockwood.
“It is essential that the hazards associated with working at height are recognised and understood by those carrying out the work,” he added.
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