Scaffolder falls five meters through skylight

Scaffolder falls through skylight
Photo of the skylight where a scaffolder fell 5 meters. Credit: PPConstructionSafety

A scaffolder sustained life-changing injuries after falling through a 5-meter high skylight fracturing his pelvis, elbow, wrist, and arm.

Poole Magistrates court heard how scaffolder Paul Norris (49) was completing work for the company Solar Scaffolding Services Limited who were contracted to erect an access tower and guard rails around the roof of some industrial units on 10th April 2017.

While assisting colleagues with the guard rails, Norris gained access via the roof then fell through a skylight 5 meters to the ground.

He was hospitalised for three weeks and had to undergo many surgeries and ongoing physiotherapy as a direct result of the accident.

When investigated by the HSE Solar Scaffold Services were found to have failed to take appropriate measures to prevent a fall through the fragile roof and that as an employer their duty to ensure that the work at height was adequately planned, supervised and carried out safely had failed.

A guilty plea was heard in court form the company after they were found to have breached the Work at Height Regulations 2005. Solar Scaffolding Services Limited was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £3,666.80 in costs.

The courts also heard how Norris is now registered disabled and his wife has had to give up work to provide care for her husband. He has also had to move out of his home and move into an adapted flat and can no longer return to work.

HSE Inspector Caroline Penwill commented on the hearing, “Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities and injuries in this country and the risks of working with heights are well known.

Mr. Norris’s injuries were life changing for both him and his family. He could have easily been killed. This serious incident could have been avoided if the work had been properly planned to reduce the risk”.