Builder fined over roof light fall

plaster fallen from ceiling.

A self-employed builder has been fined after a sub-contractor was injured in an accident at work in which he broke his neck.

James Beeston had been hired to carry out minor building work and repairs at a factory in Bagworth, Leicestershire and was being assisted by sub-contractor Kline Wilkins, 45.

Mr Wilkins, from Coalville, was helping to replace Perspex roof lights with solid strips of roof sheeting using a jig. He was kneeling on a board over one of the lights trying to get the jig to work but fell through a light to the concrete floor three metres below.

Tissue damage

Mr Wilkins was airlifted to hospital with a fractured neck and right arm and also suffered soft tissue damage to his kidneys and hip. He has still not returned to work, although is planning to do so in the next two months.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the accident on May 7 found that Beeston had failed to provide any suitable safety measures to prevent a fall through the fragile roof material.

Beeston, of Swannington, Coalville, pleaded guilty at Leicester Magistrates’ Court to breaching Regulation 9(2)(a) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. He was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay costs of £397.

Accident risks ‘known’

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Tony Mitchell said: “Mr Wilkins is lucky to be alive as work at height on fragile roofs is a significant cause of fatal incidents. The risks are widely known in the construction industry, as are the measures needed to reduce those risks.

“Companies or individuals, such as Mr Beeston, who don’t provide a safe system of work or fail to comply with the required standard, can expect to be brought before the courts.”


Source: Health and Safety Executive

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