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WORKMAN FELL THROUGH ROOFLIGHT DURING REFURB

Client prosecuted after builder’s labourer badly injured in rooflight fall

A construction client has been prosecuted after builder’s labourer suffered multiple injuries when he fell through a fragile roof light during work on a farm building. The man suffered multiple fractures, ruptured his spleen and broke six ribs in October 2009.

York Magistrates Court heard (3 March) that he was engaged by farm owner Bruce Quarton to convert a farm building into a cattle shed. The work required access to the roof of the building to remove alternate ridge tiles to improve ventilation.

HSE investigators discovered that the injured man was lifted to the roof in the bucket of a tractor. No edge protection was in place to prevent a fall and ‘crawling boards’ were not used to spread his weight on the fragile cement sheeting and plastic roof lights beneath him. 

HSE is currently running an intensive inspection campaign to “clampdown on dangerous practices during refurbishment, repair and maintenance projects”.

Poorly planned and executed work

Mr Quarton pleaded guilty to breaching HSW Act Section 3(1) and was fined £6,000 and ordered him to pay £1,530 in costs. After the hearing, HSE Principal Inspector David Green said:

“This work was poorly planned and executed from start to finish, with the end result being a horrific fall that could easily have killed the labourer. 

In agriculture roughly half of deaths and serious injuries are as a result of falls involving work on fragile roofs. Using a tractor and bucket as an impromptu lift is totally unacceptable.”

.

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