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Roof Fall Leaves Worker with Collapsed Lung

16th December 2021

A Wiltshire-based contractor was fined in November following a worker’s roof fall that left them with serious injuries.

The incident occurred in May 2019; the worker was replacing broken roof sheets on a barn, utilising a mobile elevating working platform and crawling boards. Whilst working, his foot slipped, causing him to fall three metres through the fragile roof material, sustaining neck fractures, a collapsed lung and a bleed on the brain.

An investigation, carried out by the HSE, found that the contractor had failed to appropriately plan the roof works. And whilst the company utilised netting when carrying out large roofing projects, they had made a ‘conscious decision’ to forgo installing nets when taking on smaller jobs.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £63,278 plus costs of £6,721.

With falls from height accounting for an astounding quarter of construction deaths in 2020, considerations around working at height should take be at the forefront of any project. A fully-trained workforce, supervisors and inspections must all factor into projects of this nature.

Speaking on this issue, HSE inspection, Stephan Axt-Simmonds has said:

“Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well known. Falls through fragile roof materials are not inevitable. They can be prevented by careful planning, using trained and experienced workers with suitable equipment, and employing a high level of supervision.

This incident could so easily have been avoided by using established control measures and safe working practices.”

If you are looking to improve practices for working at height within your workforce, contact the SIMIAN team today to find out more about our training and consultancy services.