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Two companies fined after Liverpool employee’s life-threatening fall

Two companies have been in court after a Liverpool-based employee fell through the roof of a former Cheshire factory, and sustained life-threatening injuries.

What happened?

Peter Tracey had been hired by Local Asbestos Services to remove asbestos sheets from the roof of an unused factory that was due to be demolished in Poynton.

The 59-year-old was attempting to grab a sheet that was slipping away when he stepped onto a clear plastic panel, which gave way under his weight, and fell over five metres onto the concrete floor below.

He sustained multiple injuries, including two collapsed lungs, a ruptured shoulder tendon, blood in his left lung, and fractures to his ribs and hip. He was airlifted to hospital, before being placed into an induced coma.

An investigation into the incident found that both Asbestos Services Ltd and Construction Contracting UK Ltd had allowed employees onto the roof without ensuring that satisfactory safety measures in place.

Construction Contracting UK Ltd, which was overseeing the work, had agreed to remove the asbestos sheets using a scissor lift or cherry picker underneath the roof. This was to allow the employees to cut the bolts that held the sheets in place without having to go onto the roof itself.

Despite this agreement, two of the workers, including Mr Tracey, were allowed to carry out work on top of the roof, without the use of any safety equipment to prevent them from being injured.

What was the outcome?

Construction Contracting UK Ltd was found guilty of breaching the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 after failing ensure the work was safe, and was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay costs of £23,502.

Local Asbestos Services Ltd was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay £6,191 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

In a victim statement, Peter Tracey said:

“I now struggle to do everyday things like going to the shops,
and have had to rely on my daughter and sister to do my
washing and clean my home. I can’t do the simplest
of chores due to the restrictions I have with
my shoulder. It is so frustrating.

“I always used to enjoy going to the park with my grandchildren
and playing football with them, but that has all stopped.
I can’t even push them on the swings now. I am
missing out on them and it does upset me.”

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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