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Firms fined £11k after worker injured in roof fall

Two construction firms have been fined for their part in a fall at a Lincoln retail park.

Taylor Pearson Construction was the principal contractor building a new retail unit at The Carlton Centre on Outer Circle Road.

The company sub-contracted roof cladding work to Roofwise (Bourne) Limited, which in turn engaged a sub-contract labour team of its own.

In May 2011, the cladding team were installing gutter sections along one side of the roof.

As one of the team, a 53-year-old self-employed roofer from Sheffield, who has asked not to be named, attempted to fix the last section of gutter he fell, striking the handrail of a scissor lift before hitting the ground more than eight metres below.

He suffered a fractured pelvis, shattered heel and broken thumb. He spent several weeks in hospital and had to have several metal plates inserted to his fractures.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that roof edge protection and safety netting had been installed to the majority of the roof, but an indented corner had been left unprotected. It was in this area that the fall occurred.

After a hearing on Wednesday, August 22, at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court, HSE inspector Tony Mitchell said:

“This incident was wholly preventable. Both defendants clearly identified the risk of a fall and the precautions that were needed, but had not fully followed this through on site. Several opportunities to identify and remedy this deficiency had been missed.

“The injured worker is lucky to be alive. There is no room for complacency when it comes to work at height.”

Taylor Pearson Construction pleaded guilty to breaching regulations in relation to the fall and was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,710.

Roofwise (Bourne) also pleaded guilty and was fined £3,000 with £1,710 in costs.

Source: Health and Safety Executive | Photo: J.Hannan-Briggs