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FRAGILE ROOF FALL DURING COLLEGE DEMO PROJECT

PC and contractor prosecuted after workman injured in fall through roof

Principal contractor JF Finnegan Ltd and asbestos removal firm Lilquest Asbestos Management have been fined after a worker fell through a fragile rooflight during removal of asbestos at a now-demolished college in Sheffield.

Mr Nikitas Coulson, aged 40, fractured his arm after falling 3.5m through a flat roof to the ground below. He needed surgery to insert a plate into his arm following the incident at the former Sheffield College in April 2010. He was part of a team removing asbestos prior to planned demolition and re-build.

Sheffield Magistrates heard that immediately after the incident, the remaining ten rooflights on the flat roof were boarded over, making them safe. The court heard this should have been done prior to any work starting on the roof.

Control measures simple, cheap and widely known

Magistrates fined JF Finnegan £15,000 and ordered that the firm pay £5,179.90 prosecution costs after failing to provide suitable protection for any fragile surfaces on the roof under the Work at Height Regulations 2005. Lilquest was fined £3,000 with £2,000 costs for the same offence. Both companies pleaded guilty.

Workman holds remaining shards of glass to prevent them falling onto the injured person below

HSE Inspector Dave Bradley said:

“This was an obvious and known risk, and one that should have been dealt with before any work went ahead. Falls from height are the most common cause of fatal injuries in the workplace and are also responsible for many serious injuries.

The control measures needed to avert these risks are cheap and simple and widely-known throughout the construction industry.

Mr Coulson has been unable to work since this happened so the impact on him has been significant. The HSE will not hesitate to use the enforcement powers we have to protect people from injury at work.”

 

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One Response to “FRAGILE ROOF FALL DURING COLLEGE DEMO PROJECT”

  1. HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 16th NOVEMBER 2011 | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] Lilquest Asbestos Management Limited – fragile surfaces risk:£3,000; […]