4 Sep 2014

Life threatening injuries caused by preventable fall

A roofer nearly died after falling whilst working on the ridge of part of a roof where there was no protection to prevent a fall.

James Hopkin (29) from Plymouth, was working on the pitched roof of a mid-terraced house in Torpoint on 18 April 2013 when he fell down onto the rear tenement roof and landed in a neighbouring courtyard suffering severe head injuries.

The incident was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) which prosecuted Mr Hopkin’s employer, B&C Roofing, at Truro Magistrates Court today (2 September).

The court heard that Mr Hopkin was the supervisor for the work on the house in Marine Drive and was working on the ridge of the main roof when he fell, sustaining life threatening and life changing injuries and leaving him bed bound for more than six months.

No edge protection, which could have prevented the fall to the ground, had been installed to protect the area where he was working and ultimately fell.

B&C Roofing, of Forresters Business Park, Estover Close, Plymouth, pleaded guilty to a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £16,000 and ordered to pay £9,627 in costs.

Following the hearing, a HSE spokesperson said:

“Mr Hopkin suffered major, life-changing injuries and there was a real possibility that the fall could have proved fatal.

“Falls from height are the biggest cause of workplace deaths and it’s crucial that employers make sure work is properly planned, appropriately supervised and that sufficient measures such as edge protection are put in place to control the risks of harm from falls.

“There is no excuse for employers failing to safeguard workers who have to work at height.”

There is advice and free guidance available on the HSE website about working at height. www.hse.gov.uk/work-at-height

The need to identify and specify a safe system of work (SSoW) when working at height is essential. The number of reports that we read about workers falling through fragile roofs is scary and more often than not they are easily preventable by using the correct equipment such as wearing a harness or installing safety nets to make the work as safe as possible and if possible allow the work to be carried out without accessing the roof at all. As ever, whatever equipment is identified in your SSoW you should always carry out a pre-use check to ensure that is safe for use. Visit www.goodtogosafety.co.uk for your MEWP and harness inspection systems or you can Download the Good to Go Brochure

No comments:

Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger.