Firms Fined For Factory Roof Fall

Construction Industry Accident


Two construction firms have been fined after a worker fell almost 10 metres through a roof into an occupied factory in Scotland.

The 19-year-old was seriously injured as he fell through the roof after a fragile plastic rooflight gave way.

Contractor TQR Ltd of Dalkeith was fined £6,000 and sub contractor David O'Neil, from Cleland near Motherwell, was fined £3,000 at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.

Both admitted charges under section 3(1) and 3(2) respectively of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

TQR Ltd had been contracted to carry out roof repairs at a building on the Buttlerfield Industrial Estate, Bonnyrigg, in April 2008. The work was then sub contracted out to David O'Neil.

Health and Safety Executive inspector Alastair Brown said: "Last year 34 people were killed following falls from height during construction work, making it the largest cause of fatalities in the industry.

"Both contractors involved failed to recognise the risks posed by the presence of fragile rooflights on this building, or to establish their fragility prior to work beginning."

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David Urpeth, an expert in work accidents from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: “The construction industry is the industrial sector where a worker is most likely to lose his life in an accident at work.  That being the case, it is a huge concern that some employers are still failing to adhere to the law and thus exposing workers to unnecessary risk.

“As such, I welcome the fines imposed in this case and hope that they will serve as a deterrent to others.”