Contractor and subbie both accountable for unsafe workplace
Eagle Construction (Bolton) Ltd and Orion Roofing (Steven Winter T/A) have been fined after inadequate scaffolding led to a worker falling from a roof and suffering a fractured skull and broken back.
Simon Brown, aged 40 also suffered neck injuries and a fractured pelvis, and later had a kidney removed, after he fainted and fell 8m at a property in Bolton on 26 February 2012.
Trafford Magistrates heard (8 November) that Eagle Construction was engaged to carry out building work on the property including construction of a dormer roof extension and Orion Roofing were sub-contracted to undertake the roof work. Eagle Construction organised scaffolding to gutter level on the front of the home and a tower scaffold on the rear to gutter level.
Mr Brown accessed the new dormer roof area several times over the four days using a ladder onto the scaffolding at the front of the house, then climbing over the ridge of the roof using a ladder and then climbing down onto the dormer roof. He was using the dormer roof as a working platform to hand materials to Steven Winter who was working on the scaffolding below.
Mr Brown was putting corners on the fascia on the edges of the dormer when he felt dizzy, fainted and fell from the roof into the neighbour’s garden below. He spent eight weeks in hospital.
Scaffolding not modified to fit with the progress of work
Eagle Construction (Bolton) Ltd of Chorley Old Road, Bolton, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Regulation 13(2) of the of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, and was fined £6,000 with £3,000 costs.
Steven Winter of Watson Road, Farnworth, Bolton, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £1,000 with £300 costs.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Neil Jamieson said:
“Although Mr Brown has suffered very serious, life-changing injuries, we could easily be talking about a fatal incident.
The initial scaffolding was adequate but the problem arose once work moved onto the dormer extension and roof. It was the responsibility of the Eagle Construction to provide sufficient fall protection but the scaffolding was not modified to fit in with the progress of the work. So what was a sufficient safety measure became insufficient and unsafe.
The sub-contractor, Steven Winter, also allowed his worker to access the roof and work in a dangerous manner when there was inadequate fall protection.”