After a worker suffered serious injuries, a construction trader was fined.
An employee of the construction trader was working on a grain store roof. He was removing and replacing damaged cement roof sheets and fragile roof lights. The worker stood on a moss covered roof light. This then gave way beneath his weight. He fell approximately 4.5 metres onto a concrete floor below.
The worker sustained head injuries. He also had injuries to his ribs, pelvis and wrist. The worker now suffers from short term memory loss and anxiety. He has not worked since the incident took place in 2019.
Investigation of The Construction Trader
The Health & Safety Executive conducted an investigation. They found that the construction trader did not have suitable measures in place. This meant it was unsafe to access the roof. There were also no measures to prevent the risk of falling from the edge of the roof, or falling through the roof light.
The construction trader should have considered the following measures:
- Using mobile elevated work platforms to avoid working from fragile roofing
- Creating safe access to roof level
- Using roof edge protection to prevent falls
- The use of safety nets to reduce fall risks when removing and replacing roof sheets
- Using staging or crawling boards to spread the weight of those working on fragile areas
None of these measures were implemented at the time of the incident.
The owner of the construction trader pleaded guilty to breaching Work at Height Regulations 2005. He was also also in breach of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. He was fined £2,000.
Further Comments From The HSE
After the hearing, a HSE Inspector commented on the case. ‘Those in control of working at height have a responsibility to implement safe work methods and to lead by example. They should communicate the work method clearly with the workers to demonstrate how fall risks will be prevented or reduced when working on or near fragile roof lights.
‘Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work related fatalities in this country. […] The life changing injuries sustained by [the employee] were preventable had a combination of safe access, roof edge protection, staging and safety nets been used by trained personnel.’More News