A Lincolnshire firm has been fined £4,000 after an employee seriously injured his back in a three-metre fall while working at Osgodby.
The 30-year-old, from Scampton, who does not want to be named, fractured a vertebra and had to have metal plates inserted in his back after falling through the fragile roof of a farm building.
Lincoln Magistrates’ Court heard the injured worker and a colleague were replacing fibre cement sheets on a storage building with steel sheets, using a mobile elevated work platform (MEWP), telehandler and crawler boards.
One was working inside the building from the MEWP, with the other on top of the roof using the crawler boards.
Fixing bolts were cut from inside before the old sheets were slid out of the way to be removed by the telehandler, parked at the back of the building ready to take the load.
After an hour the worker inside joined the other on top of the roof to speed things up, but as he started to move the next roof sheet he slipped from the crawler board and stepped onto one of the cement sheets.
It wasn’t strong enough to take his weight and broke, sending him crashing to the ground.
He initially landed on his feet before falling over, with his back taking the impact.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) established although both workers were working to a pre-planned method of work, it was inherently unsafe and failed to mitigate the risks of working with fragile materials.
The court was told the roofing work was eventually completed a week later using scissor lifts inside the building, and that had this equipment been provided to start with the incident, on January 17 of this year, could have been prevented.
Employer, Timmins Engineering and Construction Limited of Sturton-by-Stow, was prosecuted by HSE and, as well as the fine, was ordered to pay £985 in costs after pleading guilty to two separate breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
After the hearing, HSE Inspector Chris Copeman said: ““The company eventually got it right by working from inside the building and avoiding the need to physically go onto the roof, but it is sad that it took a serious incident before this happened.”