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INJURY TOLL FROM ROOFLIGHT FALLS CONTINUES UNABATED

Workman ‘cheats’ death in 5m fall through rooflight on agricultural building

Towy Valley Fabrications has been fined following an incident on a farm near Llandeilo on 15 April 2011 in which a workman was injured when he fell from a roof.

Magistrates heard that Daniel Elliot, 24, from Nottingham was an inexperienced steel erector involved constructing a new pitched roof between existing buildings on the farm. The work involved the demolition of a small existing roof and installation of new steel frames between the buildings.

Mr Elliot was standing on the roof of an existing buildings pulling up an electrical extension cable when he stepped backwards onto a fragile rooflight and fell 5.5m to the ground below. He fractured his spine and pelvis in the fall and has not been able to return to work as a steel erector.

HSE heard of the incident from the mother of by Mr Elliot. Investigators found that the work was not properly planned and supervised to ensure appropriate measures were in place to control the risks.

Little understanding of safety measures needed

Anthony William John Daniel, trading as Towy Valley Fabrications of Llanwrda, Carmarthenshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3(1) the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995. He also pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. He was fined £6,500 and ordered to pay £2,651 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector, Phil Nicolle said:

“Anthony Daniel undertook the erection of a steel framed agricultural building with little understanding of the need for the safety measures that routinely apply to such construction work.

He employed an inexperienced worker and exposed him over the course of several days, to risks of a fall from height ultimately resulting in the fall of 5.5m which caused serious injury. Mr Daniel then failed to notify HSE of the incident.

There is no room for complacency when undertaking work at height in the construction industry. The risks are well known. Employers must ensure the work at height is planned, managed and supervised by competent people and where they are undertaking any of those roles themselves that they are competent to do so.”

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