Fall from roof due to breach in Health & Safety

Wigan construction worker could launch compensation claim 2811

A Wigan-based employee who was injured in an accident could launch a compensation claim.

Lee Bryne, 29, was working on a project that aimed to replace the roof on a sports hall at Loreto High School in Chorlton, Lancashire, when he was injured.

Trafford Magistrates Court heard employees of K Pendlebury & Sons had removed steel beams under a portion of the roof so new ones could be installed - but this meant an area of corrugated tin panels was left completely unsupported.

As Mr Byrne was walking on the roof to get his lunch the unsupported panels gave way underneath him as he put the weight of one of his legs onto it.

The roofer fell from the roof travelling ten metres and hit a section of scaffolding on the way to the ground. He suffered a fractured pelvis, broken fingers and his right arm and elbow were shattered.

Although the court heard the scaffolding likely saved Mr Bryne from being killed in the accident, he has had to have an artificial elbow fitted and has been unable to work since the incident in November 2011.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found there was no barrier around the unsupported section of the roof and scaffolding had only been placed under some parts of the fragile corrugated panels.

K Pendlebury & Sons pleaded guilty to a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £3,539 in prosecution costs.

HSE inspector Matt Greenly said: "There should also have been scaffolding under the whole of the roof to catch anyone who fell.

"This was a big project that should have been carefully planned but sadly the company’s failings have led to an employee being badly injured ... the injuries the employee has suffered will affect him for the rest of his life."

Mr Bryne may now choose to launch a civil case against his former employers for physical damage and loss of earnings.

Posted by Francesca Witney 

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04/06/2013 14:26