A contractor and scaffolding firm must together pay out almost £65,000 after their safety failings led to a worker plunging five metres from a roof.
Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard how in December 2015 a subcontractor working for Centreco (UK) Ltd, was installing solar panels to the roof of Firth Steels in Brighouse, West Yorkshire.
The subcontractor slipped on the roof, sliding down to the edge protection. The toe board of the edge protection snapped and he fell through the scaffold, landing on a sub-station flat roof. He suffered life-changing injuries, including a fracture to his spine, a broken coccyx and nerve damage. The subcontractor was in the hospital for almost three months and is now unable to work due to ongoing mobility issues.
An investigation by the HSE found that the scaffolding firm had not erected the scaffold to a recognised industry standard or design. The investigation also found that the contractor had failed to take effective measures to prevent workers falling through fragile roof lights surfaces.
Oswestry Shropshire Scaffold Ltd, Oswestry, Shropshire pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. It was fined £28,800 and ordered to pay £945.20 in costs.
Centreco (UK) Ltd, Chorley, Lancashire also pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. It was fined £33,500 and ordered to pay £945.20 in costs.
HSE inspector Jayne Towey said after the hearing: “Falls from height often result in life-changing or fatal injuries. In most cases these accidents are needless and could be prevented by properly planning to ensure that effective preventative and protective measures are in place such as edge protection or barriers built to the correct standard.”