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Monday, 01 September 2014

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Carlisle firm fined £15k after worker falls through roof

Safety inspectors say a man could have died after plunging more than 20ft through a roof.

The 23-year-old trainee scaffolder from Carlisle was working at the Nestle factory in Dalston when he fell through a roof light, hitting parts of the internal steel structure before landing on the concrete floor.

As well as suffering severe cuts to his face and head, the man shattered his kneecap into 12 pieces.

Carlisle scaffolding firm Contract Scaffolding Services Limited was fined £15,000 following a prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The injuries will affect the victim for the rest of his life.

Carlisle Magistrates’ Court heard that the company had been sub-contracted to fit edge protection around the roof of a building, to allow its removal ahead of the building’s demolition.

The injured man was part of a four-strong team carrying out the work on February 22 last year.

He was wearing a harness but this was not clipped on to anything at the time.

He was working on the roof and as he tried to walk past one of his colleagues, he stepped onto a roof light which gave way.

The scaffolder was airlifted to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle for specialist treatment.

The court was told that although Contract Scaffolding Services Ltd had prepared a scaffolding plan, method statement and risk assessment prior to starting the work, it did not mention the presence of the fragile roof lights.

As well as the fine, the company, of Carleton Depot, London Road, was ordered to pay £920 costs after admitting breaching two health safety regulations.

HSE inspector Martin Paren said: “A worker has suffered injuries that could affect him for the rest of his life purely because the company failed to make sure its employees were safe.

“A fall from that height could have been fatal.”

The man has had to give up manual work because of his injuries.

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