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COMPANY RELIED UPON EXPERIENCED WORKERS

Lack of precautions to prevent fall through fragile rooflight

Groundworkers, McKeown Groundworks Limited, has been fined after a worker fell some 7m through a fragile roof in May 2016.

Stranraer Sheriff Court heard that the 42-year-old workman was sub-contracted to carry out roof repairs on an agricultural building in Stranraer.

Whilst walking along the roof he stepped on a translucent rooflight which fractured under his weight resulting in his falling through the roof to the ground below. He suffered a compression fracture of the lower back as a result of this incident.

Failure to plan the work at height 

HSE investigators found that the company failed to supervise this work at height adequately and relied on the experience of the workers to avoid injury while working at height.

The company also failed to plan the work at height and no control measures were in place to prevent workers falling from or through the roof.

  • McKeown Groundworks Limited – of King Street, Castle Douglas was fined £12000 after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2015.

Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector Helen Diamond said:

“McKeown’s failings resulted in serious injuries which could have easily been prevented had the company planned the work at height.

Planning the work at height would have included an assessment of the risks and ensuring that suitable and sufficient measures were in place to prevent falls from height.”

Work at height is the biggest single cause of fatal and serious injury in the construction industry, particularly on small projects.”

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