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Employer fined £16k after worker injured falling through fragile roof

A self-employed business man has been £16,000 fined after a worker suffered multiple injuries when he fell through a fragile sky light on a farm building.

Liverpool Magistrates Court heard how Ian Kirby, an employee of Phillip Posnett, was replacing broken tiles on a roof when the incident happened on November 13, 2014.

After completing the repair on the roof ridge, he stepped onto an adjacent fragile roof to remove debris. He fell several feet through a fragile skylight into a tractor scraper parked below.

Kirby was taken to hospital after suffering a broken collar bone, broken ribs and a chip to the spine as well as head injuries. He was unable to return to work for six months.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive into the incident found there was no suitable and sufficient risk assessment of the job.

Kirby had not undergone specific training for working at height. He had been given no information or instruction on the potential risks in relation to roof work.

Mr Phillip Posnett, of Haughton Hall, Hall Lane, Haughton, Tarporley, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. As well as the £16,000 fine he was also ordered to pay costs of £3,330.80.

HSE inspector Jane Carroll said after the hearing: “Falls through fragile roofs are a well-documented hazard when undertaking roof work of any type. This case highlights how a failure to risk assess a job properly and identify the presence of a fragile roof can lead to serious personal injury for workers.”

Builder and Engineer
April 2016