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Fall victim still in vegetative state

6 Sep 12 A Darlington contractor has been fined after a worker was left severely brain damaged following a fall from a house roof.

Mark Lambton, 50, from Darlington, was working for James Wilson, trading as J Wilson Home Improvements, when the incident happened on 2 July 2011.More than a year later, he remains severely brain damaged and in a vegetative state, with no likelihood of improvement.

Mr Wilson had secured work to replace roof tiles, point ridge tiles and fit a dry verge system to the gable end of a house in Wheeldale Close, Darlington. Mr Lambton and a third man were hired to assist.

Darlington Magistrates' Court heard yesterday (5 September) that Mr Lambton was on the roof clearing concrete debris and fell six or seven metres while attempting to move onto a set of ladders at the gable end of the property. He landed on the path at the side of the property.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive found that there were no precautions to prevent the workers from falling from the roof.

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James Wilson, trading as J Wilson Home Improvements, 53, of Mallard Road, Darlington was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay £3,000 costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1)(c) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Speaking after the case, HSE inspector Emma Scott said: "The dangers of death and serious injury associated with falls from height during roof work are well known, and allowing such work to be carried out without any safety measures is totally unacceptable.

"This incident could have been easily avoided if appropriate edge protection and safe access had been put in place to prevent falls. Instead, Mr Lambton has suffered life-changing injuries that have left him in a vegetative state with no likelihood of improvement or recovery."

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