Sign fitter left with a fractured skull after 5 m roof fall
Monday 25th April 2016
From the archive: Just so you know, this article is more than 3 years old.
Warburton Signs was contracted to install a large sign to the gable end of a building and, on 13 April 2015, three fitters climbed onto a neighbouring flat roof to erect it. One of the workers fell from the roof and sustained a fractured skull and spine, a collapsed lung, and several broken ribs.
Following an investigation, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) concluded Warburton Signs had failed to implement any measures to prevent a fall from height.
Warburton Signs pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations, which requires every employer to properly plan and supervise work at height. It was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,538.
After the hearing at Chesterfield Magistrates' Court, HSE inspector Helen Barley said: "Failure to prevent falls when working at height can lead to serious injury or death."
On 16 May 2014, the man was working for a subcontractor of Bowmer and Kirkland, pouring concrete on the first floor of a building under construction at Fort Kinnaird Retail Park.As he walked across the floor he tripped, dislodging an unsecured wooden board that had been used to cover the 2 m by 1 m void. He fell approximately 4.5 m.
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 man, an employee of Mitchell Roofing, was replacing panels when he slipped and fell 7 m through the inner roof sheet fracturing his skull, York Magistrates’ court heard. The company had been contracted to replace rooflights at Monk Bridge Construction’s premises in Elvington, York. Before the incident, the firm had clad a new building and had taken the appropriate safety precautions, but the minor work of replacing the roof panels had not been properly planned.
As we reported last week, Practical Car and Van Rental Chesterfield contracted Sheffield-based Warburton Signs to install a large, lightweight sign to the gable end of an industrial building. Three operators had been assigned to the task and on 13 April 2015 they were fitting wooden batons to the building, to which the sign would be fixed.
Builder C Smith and Sons had been contracted to demolish the structure, which had housed Harvey’s and Carpetright retail stores. The building was due to be demolished remotely with construction plant as this posed the least risk to workers. However, between winning the contract and work starting onsite, the company’s owner Michael Smith decided the structure should be dismantled piece by piece instead.
Weedon was carrying out general repair work at the home of Antony Minehan in Southport, Merseyside, on 26 March 2014. Abacus Scaffolding North West had erected the scaffolding for some cavity wall insulation work. There were no guardrails, ladders, trap ends or ties on the scaffold and it had insufficient raker outriggers to ensure its stability.