Man Falls Through Fragile Roof in Workplace Accident
A groundwork company based in Stranraer has been fined after a worker suffered a workplace injury when he fell over seven meters through a fragile roof.
McKeown Groundworks Limited had sub-contracted the 42 year old worker to carry out roof repairs on a barn at Whitley’s Farm in Stranraer. Stranraer Sherriff Court heard how on the day of the incident, 24 May 2016, the man arrived at the farm to carry out the roof repairs. However, as he walked along the roof he stepped on a light panel which gave way under his weight. The worker then fell over seven meters to the ground below.
As a result of the accident at work, the worker sustained a compression fracture of the lower back.
Health and Safety Executive investigation
The Health and Safety Executive launched an investigation into the incident and found that the firm relied only on the experience of workers themselves to avoid injury when working at height. There was no adequate supervision in place.
Furthermore, the work in question had not been planned suitably, and so there were no control meaures in place to prevent this type of accident.
Sentencing and fines
McKeown Groundworks Limited, registered office at King Street, Castle Douglas, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2015. The company was fined a total of £12,000.
Helen Diamond, HSE Inspector, said after the hearing:
“McKeown’s failings resulted in serious injuries which could have easily been prevented had the company planned the work at height. Planning the work at height would have included an assessment of the risks and ensuring that suitable and sufficient measures were in place to prevent falls from height.
“Work at height is the biggest single cause of fatal and serious injury in the construction industry, particularly on small projects.”
Accident at work compensation – expert advice
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Source: Health & Safety Executive