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    BUILDING OCCUPIER FINED £1.8M OVER ROOF FALL

    Two workmen fell 4m through rooflight during leak investigation

    A food manufacturing company has been fined £1.8m after two workers suffered serious injuries when they fell over 4m through a rooflight in April 2016 at a factory in Malton, Yorkshire.

    Leeds Magistrates heard how the two men were investigating a leak in the roof. The workers were walking closely together and both stood on the same roof light which failed under their weight.

    One man suffered fractured ribs, a punctured lung, and muscular contusions to his outer right thigh. The other suffered a fractured skull, muscular injuries to his right leg and injuries inside his ear which cause ongoing problems with his balance, memory and mental health.

    Roof fragility assessment essential

    HSE investigators found the roof was made of asbestos cement and contained several rooflights situated along the roof surface which were not visible due to the build-up of moss and dirt which had accumulated over the years.

    The employees had not been made aware of the presence of fragile surfaces in the roof.

    • Karro Foods Ltd – of Norton Grove Industrial Estate, Malton, Yorkshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was been fined £1,866,000 and ordered to pay £8,019 in costs.

    After the hearing, HSE inspector Mark Slater commented:

    “This was a wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the company to provide adequate controls against the risks arising from working at height.

    Consideration of roof fragility and rooflights, visible or not, should be made, especially on older buildings.”

     

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