A steel fabricator has pleaded guilty to breaching the Work at Height Regulations and has been fined £12,000 with costs after a young employee fell through a fragile roof.
The Magistrates’ Court heard that the 19 year old was on his first day of working on a roof replacement project when he stepped off the walkway and fell 7.5 metres through a thin metal sheet onto the concrete forecourt below. The worker suffered serious head injuries, a broken pelvis and a broken wrist as a result of the fall.
The HSE investigation found that the work was not properly planned, appropriately supervised or carried out in a safe manner when the incident occurred. The steel fabricator had a duty to control how the work was carried out and to supervise staff.
Speaking after the hearing the HSE inspector for the case said: “This young man’s injuries were life-changing and he could have easily been killed. This serious incident and devastation could have been avoided if basic safe guards had been put in place.
“Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities and injuries in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well-known.”
According the HSE, on average 7 people are killed each year falling through a fragile roof. Accidents do happen, but they can be avoided with careful planning, training, supervision and the use of suitable equipment.