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Contractors fined after Skegness roof fall

10 Sep 14 Two building contractors have been fined after a worker broke his back in a roof fall.

The 36-year-old man from Kettlebrook, Tamworth, fractured a vertebra in his lower back after falling four metres from the roof of Southview Leisure Park, Skegness, on 8th March 2013.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted SJ Roberts Construction Ltd of Welshpool, and Seaton Heating & Engineering Services Ltd of Tamworth.

Lincoln Magistrates’ Court heard this week that SJ Roberts Construction was principal contractor for the installation of a new flume tower and swimming pool extension at the leisure park. Seaton Heating & Engineering Services was subcontractor installing a new air-handling unit and associated pipework for the swimming pool.

The man, an employee of Seaton Heating & Engineering Services, was working on the roof of the swimming pool extension, which was accessed by internal stairs, connecting the various ducts and pipes with the air-handling unit. Most of the roof was protected but a section was left exposed, presenting a fall risk.

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While working, the man was standing on a narrow plywood area around half a metre wide, close to the open edge. His route to the stairs was blocked when he needed to go and collect some tools. While walking along the plywood next to the open edge, the plywood gave way and he fell four metres. He landed on his feet but then fell backwards, landing on concrete and rubble.

He spent five days in hospital and needed a back brace when discharged. He was unable to work for more than three months. He has since recovered and is now back at work.

SJ Roberts Construction Ltd of Marton, Welshpool, pleaded guilty to breaching two Regulations of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. The company was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £645.60.

Seaton Heating & Engineering Services Ltd of Belgrave, Tamworth, Staffordshire, pleaded guilty to breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £7,000 and ordered to pay costs of £519.60.

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