A worker who fell 3 metres from a school building in Lancashire has suffered life changing injuries.
The 51-year-old, who has asked not to be named, was working for a roofing company, when the incident occurred at the school, in Chorley.
The company was in the process of replacing the existing roof at the school. The skylights had been taken out and the roof had been felted over. The second part of the job was to fit the tiles and an additional team was sent out to do this.
The man, who was working on the roof at the time, fell backwards through an unsupported skylight, hitting a partition wall on his way down.
The man fractured his spine in several places and he also had fractures to his ribs and his breastbone. He was in hospital for 2 months and will not be able to return to work and requires care from his wife who has had to give up her job.
Leyland Magistrates’ Court heard how he had slimly escaped being partially or completely paralysed in the accident.
Health And Safety Investigation
The HSE prosecuted the roofing company after it found it to be in breach of health and safety laws. The investigation found it had failed to put in place measures to stop workers falling through skylights.
The company was found to be in breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and fined £4000.
The Health and Safety body also said the man’s injuries could have been avoided if the company had planned the project better e.g. put plywood over the skylights.
A HSE Inspector present at court said that the man could easily have been killed and will be permanently affected by his existing injuries.
He said: “If the company had taken the simple measure of fitting pieces of plywood over the holes then his injuries could have been avoided, but it failed to properly plan the work and anticipate the dangers.
Falls From Height Common In Construction Industry
Falls from height are one of the biggest kind of workplace fatality. Mr Hatton also commented on the number of falls from height that happen in the construction highlighting that these types of accidents are ‘all too common’.
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Published 13th February 2015.