Corner of roof was left unprotected…
A 53-year-old roofer from Sheffield was seriously injured after falling 8 metres at a retail park in Lincoln.
The construction company that was contracted to carry out the roof maintenance work at the retail park has been prosecuted as a result of the accident as well as the sub-contractor that they hired.
The HSE investigation revealed that as the roofing team were in the process of installing gutters to one side of the roof on 24 May 2011 when the accident victim fell a total of 8 metres the ground below, hitting the arm rail of the scissors lift on the way down. He sustained multiple injuries including a fractured pelvis, shattered heel and broken thumb. He spent several weeks in hospital recovering from his injuries and had to have multiple operations to insert metal plates onto his fractured bones.
The company was prosecuted because the HSE investigation discovered that although a roof edge protection and safety netting had been attached to the majority of the roof while the maintenance work was carried out, one corner had been left unprotected and this is where the accident victim suffered the fall. The HSE urge all construction firms that there should be no shortcuts or oversights with regard to working at heights.
HSE inspector Tony Mitchell spoke after the hearing at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court:
“This incident was wholly preventable. Both defendants clearly identified the risk of a fall and the precautions that were needed, but had not fully followed this through on site. Several opportunities to identify and remedy this deficiency had been missed.
“The injured worker is lucky to be alive. There is no room for complacency when it comes to work at height.”
The construction company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 22(1)(a) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 in relation to the accident. The firm was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,710.
The sub-contractor was also prosecuted and pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1)(c) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, and was fined £3,000 in addition to costs of £1,710.
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