Company fined after worker fell through fragile skylight
08 June 2017
A Stranraer based groundwork company has been fined after a worker fell more than seven metres through a fragile roof.
Stranraer Sheriff Court heard how the 42 year old had been sub-contracted by McKeown Groundworks to carry out roof repairs on a barn at Whiteley’s Farm, Stranraer.
On 24 May 2016 the worker arrived at the farm to work on the roof. As he walked along the roof he stepped on a translucent light panel which broke under his weight resulting in his falling through the roof to the ground below.
The worker suffered a compression fracture of the lower back as a result of this incident.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that McKeown Groundworks failed to adequately supervise this work at height and relied on the experience of the workers to avoid injury while working at height.
It was also found that McKeown failed to plan the work at height and therefore no control measures had been put in place to prevent workers falling from or through the roof.
McKeown Groundworks has been fined £12,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2015.
Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Helen Diamond said: ““McKeown’s failings resulted in serious injuries which could have easily been prevented had the company planned the work at height. Planning the work at height would have included an assessment of the risks and ensuring that suitable and sufficient measures were in place to prevent falls from height.
“Work at height is the biggest single cause of fatal and serious injury in the construction industry, particularly on small projects.”