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‘A miracle he was not killed’ says judge as logistics firm fined £75,000

20 July 2015

A logistics firm was fined £75,000 after a worker suffered life-changing injuries in a fall from a roof.

Andrew Bannister, who had worked for PK & IF Cobley for 15 years, was worried about being sent up onto a fragile roof to repair cracks in it, but he was still instructed to do the work.

Leicester Crown Court heard Mr Bannister was sent to repair a fragile roof at Misterton Farm, Great Poultney, Leicestershire, without any means to prevent his fall from the roof edge or through the roof.

On 31 August 2012, Mr Bannister fell approximately 10 metres through the roof, landed on a concrete floor and suffered life-changing injuries, including a broken neck, back and three broken ribs.

PK & IF Cobley, of Broughton Astley, Leicestershire, was found guilty of breaching regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

The judge hearing the case said the work at height was obviously a dangerous job and that it was a miracle that Mr Bannister was not killed. As well as the fine of £75,000, he ordered the company to pay £29,351.88 in costs.

Andrew Bannister said: "After the accident I had to use a walking stick permanently. I will be on pain killers for the rest of my life. The injury has changed my life completely.”

Alison Cook, the HSE inspector who investigated and prosecuted the case, said: "The risk of falls through fragile roofs is well-known and the precautions required are simple and effective. This sentence will serve as a warning to firms that knowingly risking employees’ lives in the course of their work will not be tolerated.”