An electrical contractor has been fined £2,000 after a 16-year-old apprentice sustained back injuries when he fell four metres from a rooflight in North Yorkshire.
Austin Gregg, who trades as Gregg Electrical, of Westholme Crescent in Masham, was also ordered to pay £505 in costs after admitting a breach of Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
The teenager, also from Masham and only on his third day of work, fell through the fragile rooflight on a barn in Leyburn where solar panels were being installed on June 26 last year. He suffered bad bruising to his back and was lucky not to break any bones.
Not enough precautions taken
The Health and Safety Executive investigated and found that Mr Gregg had not taken enough precautions to prevent the accident. The fragile rooflights on the barn were partially covered and harnesses had been provided, but fixing points were not adequate or tested.
Northallerton Magistrates’ Court heard that Mr Gregg was working with two apprentices on the day of the incident and was on the roof of a shed when one of them asked the other to fetch him a tool.
The teenager forgot to put a harness on before he went onto the roof, stumbled and stepped on a partially-covered rooflight which broke and fell onto the concrete floor below.
‘No excuse for putting workers at risk’
After the hearing, HSE inspector Julian Franklin said: “This young man certainly had a close shave. Falling from height remains one of the biggest causes of death and major injury.
“It is crucial that employers put safety precautions in place for working at height, whether the job lasts 10 minutes or 10 days. The risks of working on fragile roofs are well recognised and there is no excuse for putting workers at unnecessary risk of serious injury, or even death.
“It is particularly important to ensure that vulnerable young people, new to the working environment, are given very close supervision, clear instructions and not exposed to risks that they may not be able to envisage.”
Make a claim for a back injury
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Source: Health And Safety At Work