North West firm fined as man falls through roof
A welding and metal fabrication company based in the North West has been fined after an employee suffered life changing injuries after falling through a fragile roof.
Whilst attempting to carry out minor roof repairs in Salford on 23 February 2016, the employee of John Fowler & Son (Blacksmiths & Welders) Ltd fell eight metres through the roof of a timber storage shed.
As a result of the accident at work, the 39-year old man broke his leg, elbow and ribs. He also punctured his lungs and as a result of the incident had to have his spleen removed.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched an investigation and found there had been no safety measures taken to prevent workers from falling through or off the roof.
Furthermore, the firm failed to plan the work suitably, and failed to implement a safe system of work to ensure the employees were able to safely carry out their duties.
Sentencing and fines
At Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court, John Fowler & Son (Blacksmiths & Welders) Ltd pleaded guilty to breaches of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Regulation 3 (1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
Jackie Worrall, HSE Inspector, said:
“The injured employee in this case was very fortunate not to lose his life following this fall. Falls from height can be prevented by careful planning, using trained and experienced workers with suitable equipment and employing a high level of supervision.
Deaths caused by falls through fragile surfaces occur mainly to those working in the building maintenance sector when carrying out small, short-term maintenance and cleaning jobs.
“On average seven people are killed each year after falling through a fragile roof or fragile roof light. Many others suffer permanent disabling injury.”
The firm was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay £5,368.23 in costs.
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Source:Health and Safety Executive