A company has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive after two workers were injured when they fell from a school roof in Manchester.
The men had been investigating a leak in the flat roof at Barlow Moor High School, Didsbury, when one of them leant on a wooden handrail which collapsed. The other worker tried to grab hold of him, but they both ended up falling onto a scaffolding platform with protruding metal poles more than one-and-a-half metres below.
Warrington-based Cruden Construction Ltd, the principal contractor on the site, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following the incident at the school on 6 September 2011.
Trafford Magistrates' Court heard the two men had been working about three metres above the ground as part of the school’s major refurbishment project.
The court was told both workers were lucky not to have been impaled on metal poles sticking up through the scaffolding when they fell. One of the workers from Middleton, Greater Manchester, suffered a fractured rib and bruising to his arm and chest, while the other suffered from a twisted knee as well as bruised ribs and arms.
Cruden Construction Ltd, of Knutsford Road in Grappenhall, pleaded guilty to breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005 by failing to ensure the hand rail was strong enough and was fined £6,500 and ordered to pay £2,530 costs.
Sally Rissbrook, a specialist in work accidents at Irwin Mitchell, said it was vital that lessons are learned from the incident.
She said: “This is yet another example of a HSE prosecution which has highlighted how failures to enforce safety regulations at work can lead to injuries, particularly for those who work in the construction industry. The two workers in this case could have been much more seriously injured and more needs to be done to prevent accidents at work.
“This kind of incident is far too common and it is absolutely vital that lessons are learned from this, with employers fully recognising the need to properly assess and examine how they can ensure that all workers are safe from any potential harm.
“The right protective equipment, as well as full risk assessments in relation to working at heights, can play a huge role in preventing injury or, in some extreme cases, fatality.”
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