A Welsh cladding firm has been fined after an employee fell through an open skylight at a retail unit he was working on.
Stephen Armstrong-Esther was working for Llanelli-based Ammex on the re-cladding of a retail outlet roof at Parc Trostre when the incident occurred on 2 August 2005.
In a prosecution brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Llanelli Magistrates’ Court heard Armstrong-Esther was carrying a roof panel with a colleague when he fell almost four metres through an unprotected skylight onto a mezzanine floor below.
He sustained serious injuries including fractures to his ribs and back, nerve damage to his leg and also memory and hearing loss.
Ammex was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £6,750 costs after pleading guilty yesterday (29 March 2010) to charges under Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
In warning of the dangers of working at height, HSE inspector Anne Marie Orrells said: “This case has concluded at a time when HSE is reminding those in the construction industry of the dangers of working at height and the devastating effects of slips trips and falls through its Shattered Lives campaign.
“The HSE is currently carrying out visits in Wales to highlight the possible dangers involved in refurbishment and roofing work. Wales to highlight the possible dangers involved in refurbishment and roofing work. Wales to highlight the possible dangers involved in refurbishment and roofing work.
“Mr Armstrong-Esther has suffered long lasting effects from his injuries since the incident which is now four years ago, and which could have been prevented. Openings, such as skylights, in roofs must have suitable protection around them to prevent workers from falling into them.”