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Roofing firm fined for safety failings after accident at Chorley school
1:00pm Tuesday 17th September 2013 in News
A ROOFING firm has been fined for safety failings after a worker suffered life-changing injuries when he fell through a primary school roof.
The 51-year-old narrowly avoided being paralysed when he suffered fractures to his spine, breastbone and ribs in the incident at St Mary’s Primary School, Chorley.
St Helens-based W Swindells & Son (Roofing) Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive after an investigation found the firm had failed to put measures in place to prevent workers falling through skylights.
Leyland Magistrates’ Court was told the firm had been hired to replace the roof on the school on Hornchurch Drive. The worker, who does not wish to be named, stepped backwards onto the unsupported felt over a skylight hole and fell three metres to the floor below, striking a partition wall as he fell. He was in hospital for two months and will never be able to return to work due to his injuries.
His wife has also had to give up work to care for him.
The court heard his injuries could have been avoided if Swindells had planned the work properly and arranged for pieces of plywood to be put over the skylight holes.
The firm was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £3,153 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Chris Hatton said: “The worker could easily have been killed when he fell through the roof and will be affected by his injuries for the rest of his life.
“If the company had taken the simple measure of fitting pieces of plywood over the holes then his injuries could have been avoided.”
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