Falling workers lucky to avoid impalement
Two workers fell more than one-and-a-half metres from a roof during a construction project at a school in Lancashire.
Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard that Cruden Construction Ltd was the principal contractor for a refurbishment and extension project at Barlow Moor High School in Disbury.
Two of the firm’s employees were investigating a leak on the flat roof of a new corridor area, when the incident took place on 6 September 2011. One of the men leant on a wooden handrail, which was running along the edge of the roof, and it collapsed. The other worker tried to grab hold of him, but they both ended up falling to a scaffold platform, which had protruding metal poles.
The 59-year-old worker who had leant on the handrail, twisted his right knee and suffered bruising to his ribs and left arm. His colleague, 42, suffered a fractured rib and bruising to his arm and chest.
The HSE’s investigation identified that the company installed the handrail after it removed some scaffolding. But the rail was not strong enough to act as edge protection and there was no mid-rail in place.
HSE inspector Laura Moran told SHP that the men were lucky not to have been impaled on the metal poles, which were sticking up through the platform on which they landed. She said: “Both men were lucky to escape with relatively minor injuries after they fell from the roof at Barlow Moor High School.
The Safety Conversation Podcast: Listen now!
The Safety Conversation with SHP (previously the Safety and Health Podcast) aims to bring you the latest news, insights and legislation updates in the form of interviews, discussions and panel debates from leading figures within the profession.
Find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts, subscribe and join the conversation today!