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Employee Injured after Falling Through Fragile Skylight

A self-employed business man has been fined after one of his employees fell through a fragile skylight.

Incident

On 13 November 2014, Ian Kirby – an employee of Phillip Posnett, was replacing broken tiles on the roof of a farm building. Liverpool Magistrates’ Court heard how once the work was completed, Mr Kirby stepped onto an adjacent roof to get rid of debris. He fell through a fragile roof light and landed in the scraper of a tractor that was parked below.

Mr Kirby was unable to return to work for six months after suffering head injuries, broken ribs, a broken collar bone and a chip to the spine.

HSE Investigation

The Health and Safety Executive investigated the incident and found that no risk assessment had been carried out for the work in question. Mr Kirby had not been provided with information or instruction on the possible risks of working at height, furthermore he had not undergone specific training in order to carry out work at height.

Sentencing

After pleading guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, Mr Phillip Posnett, of Haughton Hall, Hall Lane, Haughton, Tarporley, was fined £16,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,330.80.

HSE inspector Jane Carroll said after the hearing:

“Falls through fragile roofs are a well-documented hazard when undertaking roof work of any type. This case highlights how a failure to risk assess a job properly and identify the presence of a fragile roof can lead to serious personal injury for workers.”

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