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An unnamed member of staff at Skelmersdale vending machine provider Paragon International could claim compensation for falling through the roof of a building.
The 40-year-old worker was asked to clear out the gutters at the company's factory in September last year, but instead of being provided with suitable equipment and training to complete the task he was instead instructed to walk on the fragile roof.
The structure gave way as he crossed it, seeing the individual fall six metres into the accounts office below. He suffered significant bruising to his right side and leg, as well as injuries to his back and hand.
Health & Safety Executive inspector Bradley Wigglesworth said: "Paragon International knew the roof lights were fragile but he was simply told to try to avoid them, rather than any action being taken to keep him safe. The company should have carried out a proper assessment of the risks and then controlled them so that the work could be [carried] out safely."
Following a hearing at Ormskirk Magistrates' Court this week (July 1st), the firm was fined £10,500 after pleading guilty to breaching both the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
It was ordered to pay prosecution costs totalling £3,067 and may now also face a personal injury compensation case from the injured worker.
Mr Wigglesworth stated after the hearing that the individual had been lucky not to have suffered worse injuries or even been killed in his fall, as had he fallen through further along the structure he would have landed on the concrete floor of the warehouse below.
Falls from height are a potentially life-threatening hazard to workers across the UK and these tasks should always be accompanied by a thorough risk assessment, failure to do so can place the safety of workers at severe risk, as Paragon International found out to its detriment.
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