Worker Breaks Back In Fragile Roof Fall

Man Was Hospitalised For Three Weeks After Falling Six Metres On To Concrete


Two men have been fined a combined £4,000 after a worker fell through a fragile roof at an industrial site in Poole.

Bournemouth Magistrates' Court heard how Bradley White sustained a number of serious injuries, including a broken back, pelvis, left arm, right wrist, femur and ligament damage.

He had been employed by Michael Davies to replace the roof on a unit at W & S Recycling on Nuffield Industrial Estate - a building that is owned and occupied by Geoff Thompson.

The 27 year old put his foot through one of the fragile sheets on the roof and fell six metres to the concrete floor below.

His injuries were so severe that he spent three weeks in hospital and underwent a number of operations.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that important safeguards that could have prevented the fall were not in place.

There was no edge protection, safety nets or platforms used to protect Mr White as he set about his job.

Mr Davies was subsequently fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £2,000 in costs after admitting to a breach of Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

Meanwhile, Mr Thompson pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 9 of the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2007 and was given a £1,500 penalty and told to cover costs of £5,000.

Falls from height are still one of the most common causes of workplace injuries in the UK and a number of incidents involving fragile roofs have been reported in the past few months.

In November, the HSE dealt with a case that saw a labourer break his back when tumbling through a barn roof in Warwickshire.

The HSE's James Powell commented: "The dangers of working at height are well known, yet workers undertaking roof work and building maintenance sometimes die or are permanently disabled because of the poor safety standards and lack of safeguards that still exist among some contractors."

He said it is vital that the risks are properly assessed before anybody is allowed to work at height.