McKeown Groundworks Limited fined £12k after worker breaks back in fragile skylight fall
McKeown Groundworks Limited has been fined £12,000 after a worker broke his back when he fell more than seven metres through a fragile barn roof in Scotland.
The 42-year-old had been sub-contracted by the Stranraer-based groundwork company to carry out roof repairs on a barn at Whiteley’s Farm on May 24, 2016.
He suffered a compression fracture of the lower back when he stepped on a translucent light panel which broke under his weight resulting in his falling through the roof to the ground below.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that McKeown Groundworks Limited failed to adequately supervise this work at height and relied on the experience of the workers to avoid injury while working at height.
It was also found that McKeown failed to plan the work at height and therefore no control measures had been put in place to prevent workers falling from or through the roof.
McKeown Groundworks Limited whose registered office is at King Street, Castle Douglas pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2015 at Stranraer Sheriff Court and was fined £12,000.
HSE Inspector Helen Diamond said: “McKeown’s failings resulted in serious injuries which could have easily been prevented had the company planned the work at height.
"Planning the work at height would have included an assessment of the risks and ensuring that suitable and sufficient measures were in place to prevent falls from height.
“Work at height is the biggest single cause of fatal and serious injury in the construction industry, particularly on small projects.”