Roof Fall Leads To £40,000 In Fines

Serious head injury at work

25.06.2010


A Gloucestershire company and a local man have been fined nearly £40,000 after a worker fell through a skylight and sustained serious head injuries.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Woodgate Sawmills and Stanley Stephens of Longhope Welding after Mr Stephens' son Robert fell 5m on to concrete floor below.

The incident happened as Robert Stephens, 40, was working to raise the roof line of the Woodgate Sawmill building in Mile End, Coleford, Gloucestershire, alongside his father and other Longhope employees.

Following the accident, Woodgate Sawmills of Lydney, was fined a total of £13,320 and ordered to pay costs of £14,443 after pleading guilty to four breaches of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994 and 2007 before Gloucester Magistrates.

Stanley Stephens, of Gloucestershire, was fined a total of £26,660 and ordered to pay costs of £14,443 after pleading guilty to breaching section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector, Annette Walker, said: "This incident highlights the extremely serious risks posed by working at height if adequate safety protection measures are not in place."

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David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: “I welcome the fines imposed following this very serious work accident.

“Falls from height remain a major category of serious and fatal accidents at work.

“Sadly, in many cases, the misery caused by an accident at work, could easily have been avoided.”