A construction company has been fined ¡ê20,000 after a worker fell through a roof 3m onto a concrete floor below.
Reading Magistrates¡¯ Court heard how Barski Developments Limited had been appointed to refurbish a number of industrial units at Slough Business Park in the autumn of 2013. The work included cleaning and repair work to the multi-pitched asbestos cement roofs over the units. The work was to be done by subcontractors under the direct control of director of the company. A large part of the roof comprised vertical polycarbonate skylights along the internal gutters of the roof.
During the work, 55-year-old subcontractor Stanislaw Jakubus fell 3m through the fragile material to a concrete floor below. He suffered multiple injuries including cracked ribs and was unable to work for two months.
Barski Developments Limited, of Munster Road, London, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1)(a) and 9(2)(a) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined ¡ê20,000 with costs of ¡ê880 with ¡ê120 victim surcharge.
Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Dominic Goacher said: ¡°Mr Jakubus¡¯ painful injuries could easily have been avoided had the roof refurbishment been better planned and managed. As principal contractor, the onus was on Barski Developments to ensure that happened, but they failed to identify and address the risks associated with the fragile sky lights. Falls through fragile roofs account for almost a quarter of all work at height deaths, so it is absolutely vital that any such work is fully considered and that the correct equipment and working methods are used at all times.
¡°On this occasion the simple installation of guardrails against the sky lights and a proper assessment of all the roof materials would have prevented the incident.¡±