No time to plan? Tell that to this injured worker

by Alex on September 16, 2013

Post image for No time to plan? Tell that to this injured worker

Photo: Giles Douglas
A roofing firm has been fined over £7,000 for safety failings after a worker fell three metres through a skylight while replacing the roof of a Chorley school.

The 51-year-old was preparing to leave the site after removing skylights and felting over the roof when he stepped backwards onto the unsupported felt covering a skylight and plunged to the ground, colliding with a partition wall as he fell.

He suffered fractures to his spine, ribs and breastbone, which left him permanently unable to return to work. He spent two months in hospital, and his wife was forced to leave her job to care for him.

After an investigation by HSE, the roofing firm faced Leyland Magistrates’ Court on charges of failing to oversee sufficient onsite safety measures. The court heard how the firm had put in no measures to prevent falls through the skylights and could have easily arranged for plywood to cover the holes.

HSE inspectors found the lack of planning disturbing. “The worker could easily have been killed when he fell through the roof and will be affected by his injuries for the rest of his life,” said inspector Chris Hatton.

“If the company had taken the simple measure of fitting pieces of plywood over the holes then his injuries could have been avoided, but it failed to properly plan the work and anticipate the dangers.”

The firm was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £3,153 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 on 13 September 2013.

Failing to plan when working at height can be lethal. Failing to plan at all is criminal. Avoid tragic accidents with HANDS HQ’s online services. Create RAMS documents in minutes with our professional tools, and ensure that your employees are safe wherever they work.


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