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Employee who fell through skylight was out of work for six months

Self-employed businessman Phillip Posnett has been fined after his employee fell through a skylight while he was replacing broken tiles on the roof of a farm building.

Liverpool Magistrates’ Court heard how, after completing the repair on the roof ridge, Ian Kirby stepped onto another roof to remove some debris. He fell through a fragile skylight and landed on a tractor scraper several feet below. 

Kirby sustained head injuries, a spinal fracture and a broken collar bone and ribs and could not work for six months. 

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the 13 November 2014 accident and found the risk assessment for the job was unsuitable and insufficient. Kirby had not received training for working at height, nor had he been given any information on roofwork risks.  

Phillip Posnett pleaded guilty to Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act and was fined £16,000 plus £3,330 costs.


Keeley Downey was the former assistant editor of IOSH Magazine. Previously she was editor of Biofuels International, Bioenergy Insight and Tank Cleaning Magazine

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