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Roof fall lands boss with £15k fine

15 May 12 An Aberdeenshire roofing boss has been fined after one of his workers was seriously injured when he fell five metres from the edge of a flat roof.

Alister McNeilly, 26, worked for Brian George Mackie, who traded as roofing contractor Donside Slating.

Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard that on 10 November 2010, Mr McNeilly was working with a colleague to fix lead onto the flat roof area of a house in Strathdon.

Mr McNeilly was throwing lead cut-offs onto the ground while standing on the flat roof when he either slipped or inadvertently stepped off the edge. He lost his balance and fell five metres to the ground, landing near a skip.

His right hip ball joint was severed from his thigh bone and a metal plate and four pins had to be inserted. He was in hospital for four days and was off work for 16 weeks. He still experiences pain in his hip.

A subsequent investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that no scaffold platform with guard-rails and toe-boards or any other form of fall prevention equipment were in place to prevent falls.

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The investigation also revealed that Mr Mackie had not been to the site for several days prior to the incident and had not given any instructions about how to do the work.

Brian George Mackie, 43, of Auld Kirk, Rough Park, Strathdon, was fined £15,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of The Work at Height Regulations 2005.

After sentencing, HSE inspector Liz Standen said: “Mr McNeilly was very lucky to survive a five metre fall. He suffered serious injuries because his employer did not ensure that the flat roof area was safe to use, with the necessary fall prevention equipment in place, before work started and he did not given any specific instructions about how to carry out the work safely.

“This incident was completely avoidable if Mr Mackie had planned the work in advance and simple measures such as suitable barriers had been in place.”

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