An Orkney-based construction firm has admitted safety failings that led to a worker falling six metres through a roof.
William Paterson, then 58, was repairing a fragile roof at a farm in Tuquoy, Westray, when the incident occurred on 16 April 2012.
He broke his left arm and sustained multiple fractures and vascular damage to his left foot along with pelvic bruising.
Appearing at Kirkwall Sheriff Court, Daniel Harcus Construction, of Old School in Rapness, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. It was consequently fined a total of £5,000.
Fall at work
Mr Paterson and two other workers were lifted on to the roof by a telehandler. He had replaced a couple of broken fibre cement sheets and was moving over the ridge from one pitch of the roof to the other when he stepped on a sheet which gave way under his weight.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that no crawling ladders or other safety measures were in place when work began as the existing crawling ladders could not be used because of the curved ridge of the roof.
Daniel Harcus Construction failed to come up with a safe alternative system and failed to properly plan and appropriately supervise work being carried out at height.
Dangers of working at height
The dangers of working at height are well documented. On average, seven people are killed each year after falling through a fragile roof or fragile roof light, while many others suffer permanent disabling injury.
Victims could be entitled to personal injury compensation if the accident wasn’t their fault. This is something Accident Advice Helpline can assist with.
Mr Paterson still suffers from pain in his left foot and arm and has not recovered sufficiently enough to return to labouring work.
Source: The Construction Index