Health and Safety Executive
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Company fined after worker fell through fragile skylight

A Stranraer based groundwork company has been fined after a worker fell more than seven metres through a fragile roof.

Stranraer Sheriff Court heard the 42-year-old had been sub-contracted by McKeown Groundworks Limited, to carry out roof repairs on a barn at Whiteley’s Farm, Stranraer.

On 24 May 2016 the worker arrived at the farm to work on the roof. As he walked along the roof he stepped on a translucent light panel which broke under his weight resulting in his falling through the roof to the ground below.

The worker suffered a compression fracture of the lower back as a result of this incident.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that McKeown Groundworks Limited failed to adequately supervise this work at height and relied on the experience of the workers to avoid injury while working at height.

It was also found that McKeown failed to plan the work at height and therefore no control measures had been put in place to prevent workers falling from or through the roof.

McKeown Groundworks Limited whose registered office is at King Street, Castle Douglas has today been fined £12000 after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2015.

Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector Helen Diamond said: ““McKeown’s failings resulted in serious injuries which could have easily been prevented had the company planned the work at height.  Planning the work at height would have included an assessment of the risks and ensuring that suitable and sufficient measures were in place to prevent falls from height.”

“Work at height is the biggest single cause of fatal and serious injury in the construction industry, particularly on small projects.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. hse.gov.uk[1][1]
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: legislation.gov.uk/ link to external website[2][2]
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk
Channel website: http://www.hse.gov.uk

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