Roofing Company Fined after Worker Falls Through Roof Light

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A worker fell about three metres through a roof light and suffered a fractured pelvis and spinal injuries.

On 17 March 2016, a self-employed roofer, was working for a company on a roof fixing wood battens and laying roofing felt, when he fell through a sky light that had been covered with felt. The company was subcontracted to carry out roof work at Globe Mills in Slaithwaite, West Yorkshire.

An investigation found that whilst the company initially provided air bags as a means of mitigating any falls by employees, the air bags had been moved to remove debris leaving the worker hit the floor instead.

The Barnsley-based company pleaded guilty to breaching the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £20,000, with costs of £1,100.

HSE inspector Chris Tilley commented: “Falls from height through fragile surfaces and skylights 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.

“This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply adopting reasonably practicable safe working practices such as using netting instead of relying on fall bags.”

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