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WORKMAN LEFT IN ‘VEGETATIVE STATE’ AFTER ROOF FALL

Contractor fined after failing to ensure roofwork precautions in place 

J Wilson Home Improvements (James Wilson T/A) has been prosecuted after a worker was left severely brain damaged following a fall from a house roof in July 2011.

Mark Lamberton was engaged in work to replace roof tiles, point ridge tiles and fit a dry verge system to the gable end of a house in Darlington. He was on the roof clearing concrete debris when he fell over 6m whilst moving a set of ladders at the gable end of the property.

He landed on the path at the side of the property and was rushed to hospital where he was placed in a drug-induced coma for more than two months. Mr Lamberton remains severely brain damaged in a vegetative state with no likelihood of improvement.

Work carried out without safety measures “totally unacceptable”

HSE investigators found the manner in which the work was carried out was unsafe as there were no precautions to prevent the workers from falling from the roof.

J Wilson Home Improvements of Darlington was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay £3,000 costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1)(c) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Speaking after the case, HSE Inspector Emma Scott, said:

“The dangers of death and serious injury associated with falls from height during roof work are well known, and allowing such work to be carried out without any safety measures is totally unacceptable.

This incident could have been easily avoided if appropriate edge protection and safe access had been put in place to prevent falls. Instead, Mr Lambton has suffered life-changing injuries that have left him in a vegetative state with no likelihood of improvement or recovery.”

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