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Worker suffered life-changing injuries after 8m roof fall

November 13 2013

A roofer suffered a fractured skull and a broken back after falling eight metres from unsafe scaffolding.

Simon Brown, 40, spent eight weeks in hospital after also suffering neck injuries and a fractured pelvis following the fall at a property in Bolton.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the scaffolding at the rear of the house where he was working failed to protect anyone from a fall.

Trafford Magistrates Court was told Eagle Construction (Bolton) Ltd had been hired as the main contractor to carry out building work on the property, including the construction of a dormer roof extension.

An experienced roofer, Mr Brown was working for the first time for Steven Winter, owner of Orion Roofing, who had been sub-contracted for the roofing work.

Eagle Construction (Bolton) Ltd organised scaffolding to gutter level on the front of the home and a tower scaffold on the rear of the house to gutter level.

Mr Brown was using the dormer roof as a working platform to hand materials to Steven Winter who was working on the scaffolding below.

Just before the incident, Mr Brown had been standing while putting corners on the fascia on the edges of the dormer when he said he felt dizzy. He then fainted and fell from the roof into the neighbour’s garden below.

HSE inspector Neil Jamieson said: “Although Mr Brown has suffered very serious, life-changing injuries, we could easily be talking about a fatal incident.

“The initial scaffolding was adequate but the problem arose once work moved onto the dormer extension and roof. It was the responsibility of the Eagle Construction to provide sufficient fall protection but the scaffolding was not modified to fit in with the progress of the work. So what was a sufficient safety measure became insufficient and unsafe.

“The sub-contractor, Steven Winter, also allowed his worker to access the roof and work in a dangerous manner when there was inadequate fall protection.”

Eagle Construction (Bolton) Ltd of Chorley Old Road, Bolton, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Regulation 13(2) of the of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, and was fined £6,000 with £3,000 costs.

Steven Winter of Watson Road, Farnworth, Bolton, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £1,000 with £300 costs.

If you have suffered an accident at work due to unsafe conditions, call PM Law on 0114 2965444 or contact us here