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Construction Company Fined After Worker Falls Through Fragile Roof

A construction company has been fined £80,000 after an employee suffered serious injuries falling, approximately 7 meters, to the floor through a fragile roof.

A scaffold tower had been constructed for access to the roof, but there were inadequate measures in place to ensure that the work would be completed safely. The worker accessed the roof, attempting to devise his own ad-hoc working methods which included constructing a makeshift ladder/staging system from wooden planks.

An investigation by HSE, found that the company had been contracted to repair the roof of the recycling plant while a ‘bailing machine’ was not being used.

Serious deficiencies in the planning and supervision of this work were identified together with the absence of a safe system of work.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. They were fined £80,000 and ordered to pay costs of £9,981.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Philip Gratton said: “Work on fragile roofs accounts for around a fifth of all fatal incidents that occur in the construction industry..."

“...If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to this incident, the life-changing injuries sustained by the employee could have been prevented.”

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