Lack of fall protection resulted in brain damage
A Southampton roofing company has been prosecuted after a worker suffered serious injuries, including brain damage, when he fell through a roof.
The 57 year old, who asked not to be named, was working for Focus (Southampton) Ltd as a foreman on a project to remove an asbestos cement roof at the Kiln Acre Industrial Park on 27 April 2011 when he fell through a fragile skylight.
He suffered neurological damage and swelling to his brain, as well as numerous broken bones including both wrists and both eye sockets.
Portsmouth Magistrates' Court heard that the company had been contracted by Kiln Acre Management to remove and replace an old asbestos cement roof above two units on the Industrial Park in Fareham.
The work had been planned and a risk assessment and method statement for the project had been produced. Work equipment including a scissor lift and materials including the new roofing panels had also been provided. The project was then subcontracted to the foreman and others.
However, the site did not have sufficient protection to prevent the workers from falling.
The investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) established that Focus (Southampton) Ltd had not taken into account the risk of falling off the roof or from an internal mezzanine floor.
HSE inspector Nina Judkins said after the hearing: "The company did not provide effective protection for the workers it was responsible for and it was this failure that led to one worker sustaining severe injuries.
"Focus (Southampton) Ltd failed to recognise that the project could not be completed from below the roof and therefore the equipment was not sufficient to ensure safety. This incident was entirely preventable if the company had followed the free guidance and advice provided about roofing work on the HSE's website."
Focus (Southampton) Ltd of Norham Ave, Southampton, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 7 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £1,000 in costs.
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This article was published on 13/03/2012 (last updated on 13/03/2012).