27 January 2014
Employee Suffers Injury At Work Caused By Falling Through Roof
It is troubling to read again of another Accident at Work in which a young worker has been left permanently injured after falling from height – on this occasion five metres - through a barn roof onto a concrete floor, explains Personal Injury Solicitor Tracey Graham..........
This month, his employer, Ian Perkins, a building contractor, has been fined for breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 at Holyhead Magistrates’ Court following a successful prosecution by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).
The 23-year-old employee from Newborough on Anglesey was asked to dismantle a barn roof unsupervised when the incident happened on 13 December 2012. He went onto the fragile roof to cut through bolt heads that were securing the roof sheets when a section of roof gave way beneath him. His injuries included broken wrists, an ankle and heel, and two fractured vertebrae making it difficult for him to walk and difficult also to hold things, particularly his two young children. The HSE confirmed that the young employee had also been diagnosed with arthritis caused by the fall and has been unable to return to work.
The HSE investigation found that the contractor, Mr Perkins, should have warned his employee of the dangers of working on a fragile roof and advised him how to carry out the job in a safe way. Particularly, the young worker was not supervised when he ought to have been.
Mr Perkins, of Newborough, near Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, pleaded guilty to the breach and was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £775 in costs.
The injured worker will also have a civil case against his employer for his injuries and loss of earnings. The loss to the injured man will be great; loss of income, loss of health & mobility, loss of services to the household, and loss of quality time with his children. He will also have a future loss based on his vulnerability on the open labour market. The HSE advise that he continues to suffer from his severe injuries.
On average, between 8 and 12 people die from similar falls through fragile roofs and roof lights every year. These needless deaths account for almost a fifth of all fatal accidents which result from a fall from height in the construction industry.
If employers complied with the regulations, incidents like this could be prevented. Careful planning by employers is vital, as is the use of trained and experienced workers with suitable equipment under a high level of supervision.
This young worker was lucky that he did not lose his life. He will however still have to come to terms with debilitating injuries, but a good lawyer with expertise in this type of claim will be able to seek out the best compensation for him and additionally assist his recovery.
Here at Slater and Gordon we offer that complete package, to include support and counselling as well as help with DWP benefits and Rehabilitation.
For a free consultation call Slater and Gordon on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and we'll be happy to help you.