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Two building firms in court after employee’s fall from roof

An employee of Seaton Heating and Engineering Services Ltd broke his back after falling four metres from the roof of a leisure park in Skegness.

What happened?

SJ Roberts Construction Ltd had been appointed as contractors to install a new swimming pool extension and flume tower at the leisure park, whilst Seaton Heating and Engineering Services Ltd had been taken on as sub-contractors to install a new air-handling unit and associated pipework for the swimming pool.

The 36-year-old employee had been working on the roof of the extension, which was accessible by internal stairs. Though most of the roof was protected, a section had been left exposed, presenting a serious fall risk to the employees.

He was walking along some plywood next to the exposed section in order to collect some tools, when the plywood gave way beneath him and he fell four metres onto the concrete and rubble below.

He sustained serious injuries to his back, and spent five days in hospital. When he was discharged he required a back brace and was unable to work for over three months.

What was the outcome?

SJ Roberts Construction Ltd was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £645.60, after pleading guilty to breaching the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.

Additionally, Seaton Heating and Engineering Services Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £7,000 and ordered to pay costs of £519.60.

HSE inspector, Chris Copeman, said:

“This worker is very fortunate not to have suffered far more
serious injuries. Throughout the whole process of roof
work, there was no adequate protection against
falls, such as barriers on the open edge.

“Had he tripped and fallen from the edge of the roof,
we could have been dealing with a fatal incident.

“SJ Roberts Construction Ltd and Seaton Heating and Engineering Services
Ltd put workers’ lives in danger by allowing them to work on a
roof without suitable safety measures being in place.
They failed to recognise their responsibility
to ensure that work at height carried out
under their control was done safely.”

If you have been affected by an accident at work, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com

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