A roofer broke his back when a roof he was working on gave way, a court has heard.
The man, who does not wish to be named, plummeted approximately 15ft in the fall from height on August 15, 2015.
He suffered multiple injuries including several fractured vertebrae, which left him unable to work for an extended period of time.
The senior roofer was installing solar panels at Homeleigh Garden Centre in Launceston, Bodmin Magistrates’ Court was told.
While crossing the roof, the cement fibre sheeting he was walking on gave way. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the accident at work found his employer, Clean Earth Energy Limited, did not properly plan or appropriately supervise the work.
The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at height Regulations 2005. It was fined a total of £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,704.
HSE inspector Nicole Buchanan said working on fragile surfaces is a particularly high risk activity in which many serious accidents occur. She added duty holders should do everything possible to protect their workers from the risk of a fall.
Staying safe when working at height
Falls from height are among the biggest causes of deaths in the workplace in the UK.
Employers have a duty of care to ensure everyone working at height is safe, whether repairing a roof or standing on a ladder to replace a light bulb.
They must ensure all workers are supervised while working above the ground. Proper planning is also essential, so any risks involved can be mitigated before the work begins. Safety nets, railings and barriers could all be used to make the task safer to complete.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: March 26, 2016
Author: Jonathan Brown