Man fell six metres and died of meningitis infection after suffering brain injury…
A Welsh building contractor was ordered to pay a fine of £548,000 after a worker died from his injuries as a result of falling through a roof while working on a construction job in Bangor, Wales.
The 21-year-old accident victim was working for a roofing contractor who themselves had been employed by the principal building contractor when the accident occurred on 29 May 2007. The man had been working on the roof of the shopping centre when he fell almost six metres through an unprotected opening sustaining severe head injuries in the fall.
Initially the man spent several months in hospital recuperating from his head injuries, however he died after contracting acute meningitis and 17 December 2009 because his brain injury had increased the likelihood of infection.
Mold Crown Court heard that the findings of a pathologist indicated that there was an 80 per cent chance that the infection could be attributed to the fall he suffered at the shopping centre.
The court was also told that the contractor had been negligent and failed to ensure the safety of their workforce as the edge protection around the opening on the roof had been removed before the accident and the company had not installed a replacement protective measure in the interim. If
The construction company was found guilty of breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £450,000 and ordered to pay £98,000 in costs.
HSE inspector Chris Wilcox spoke after the hearing:
“Poor co-ordination between the principal and the roofing contractors on this particular part of the site led to the edge protection being removed from around the roof opening without alternative safeguards in place.
“Falls from height are an alarmingly common cause of death and serious injury in construction. All too often straightforward practical precautions are not considered and workers are put needlessly at risk. Poor management of risk in this industry is unacceptable and HSE will take strong action when necessary.
“This tragic case should remind all contractors that work at height must be managed effectively and adequate safeguards should be in place to prevent falls.”
The HSE report that working at heights is the most dangerous occupation in terms of number of fatalities and injuries in the UK, with 49 workers losing their lives on construction sites in the last year.
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