Magistrates have fined a building and roofing firm partner £10,000 for safety failings after an employee was seriously hurt when he fell through a roof light.
Plymouth Magistrates’ Court heard how 24-year-old Przemyslaw Borkiewicz, from Mutley in the city, was working on the roof of an Evan Halshaw garage in Saltash, Cornwall on 12 December 2012 when he was injured.
Lack of safety measures
He wasn’t supervised properly while he was on the roof and no safety equipment was provided that could have prevented the fall or protected him if he did fall, the court was told.
Following an investigation the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the person controlling the work, Jim Woodley, who trades as Direct Property Services.
Mr Borkiewicz was taking a bucket to a fellow worker who was also on the roof when he stepped on a fragile Perspex roof light and fell through it.
The HSE discovered he was asked to work on the roof but had no formal qualifications in working at height
and there were no boards with edge protection to work from, no cherry picker or any other safety measures in place.
After admitting a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, Jim Woodley, of Direct Property Services, based at Mannamead in Plymouth, was ordered to pay the fine and costs of £5,517.
‘Lucky to survive a fall’
Speaking after the conclusion of the case HSE inspector Helena Allum said Mr Borkiewicz was lucky to survive the fall.
She said it is crucial that firms plan and supervise work at height and install protective measures, as it causes more deaths than any other kind of workplace accident.
There is no excuse for employers if they don’t think about the safety of their workers when they are working at height, she said.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: February 26, 2015
Author: Jonathan Brown