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FRAGILE ROOF FALL CAUSES DREADFUL INJURIES

Young worker will require ‘significant care’ throughout his life

A 21 year-old construction worker from Wales suffered life-changing injuries when he fell 3m through the roof of a farm building in April 2009. Gwyndaf Davies was involved in the re-roofing works when he fell through the fragile roof to a concrete floor below.

He suffered multiple facial fractures, traumatic brain injury and multiple spine fractures leading to nine months in hospital and requiring facial reconstructive surgery and eye surgery.

The accident has left Gwyndaf with the lasting effects of a traumatic brain injury, blind in one eye and partially sighted in the other. He has limited speech and cannot walk without aid.  It is likely he will require significant care for the rest of his life.

Lack of planning and supervision

The HSE investigation revealed that the company did not plan, supervise or carry out the work safely. There was only limited edge protection to prevent workers falling from the roof and no measures to prevent them falling into the building.

Delme L James Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005 Reg 4 and was fined £8k and ordered to pay over £2k in prosecution costs

HSE inspector, Anne Marie Orrells, said:

“Mr Davies is a young man who has suffered dreadful injuries as a result of this accident which could have resulted in his death. This situation could so easily have been prevented and Mr Davies and his family are still trying to come to terms with the lasting effects of what has happened.

“Falls from height are one of the major causes of death and serious injury in the construction industry. The regulations are clear and well established but HSE continues to see tragic cases such as this resulting from employers not fulfilling their duty to protect workers.

“There is a great deal of guidance freely available on the HSE website, so there is no excuse for getting it wrong – especially given the severity of the consequences.”

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