Head Of Training, The Healthy Work Company

September 5, 2016

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Worker fractures skull in second roof fall

A conservatory roof manufacturer and installer has appeared in court after a worker suffered serious injuries in a fall from a conservatory roof. The same employee had previously fallen from a roof, losing consciousness. This was not reported to the HSE.

The 59-year-old worker from Bolton suffered a fractured skull which resulted in a bleed on his brain and a shattered eye socket in the incident which occurred at a property in Newton Le Willows in June 2015.

The incident was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) which prosecuted Phil Coppell Ltd for serious safety failings and failing to report a previous incident in 2013 when the same employee fell off a roof and lost consciousness, and another employee suffered multiple broken ribs in a fall through a skylight.

Manchester and Salford Magistrates Court heard that two workers had been carrying out repair work on the roof of the conservatory. Whilst working alone on the roof the employee lost his footing and fell approximately 2.5 metres onto a patio area below.

There were no preventative measures in place to prevent the risk of a fall from height. An Improvement Notice was served by HSE during the investigation and the company subsequently developed a barrier for use as edge protection.

Phil Coppell Ltd of Cemetery Road, Radcliffe, Greater Manchester pleaded guilty to a breach of Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and breaches of Regulation 3(1) of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995, and Regulation 4(1) of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013, and was fined £40,280 and ordered to pay costs of £1,464.70

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Christine McGlynn said: “This incident could have been avoided if the company had learnt lessons from two previous similar incidents in 2013. The risks of working from height are well known and there is plenty of guidance available.

“Employees of this company were exposed to the risks of falls over a prolonged period of time. Generally work of this nature is at the rear of premises and is not visible or easy to monitor, however this prosecution should highlight, in particular to other companies who carry out work on conservatory roofs, that they should have in place control measures to prevent the risk of falls”

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