News Sunderland Firm Fined £6000 Over Roof Light Fall

Sunderland-based Brims Construction has been made to pay over £6,000 for health and safety breaches after one of its workers fell through a roof light.

Newcastle Magistrates’ Court heard that the 29-year-old fractured two vertebrae and had severe bruising as a result of the fall at a project to refurbish Pearl Assurance House in Newcastle in September last year. He is, however, expected to make a full recovery.

The court heard that the worker had frequently had to pass close to two fragile roof lights as part of his work. The accident happened when he placed an item on one of these roof lights and it fractured and he fell through.

But an HSE investigation subsequently discovered that no barriers had been put up to prevent a fall, despite a consultant previously warning the company that this was necessary. The only warning signs were paper notices stuck to the roof lights, but these had disappeared by the time the incident took place.

After the accident the company did erect scaffolding around each roof light – without impeding work.

Brims Construction was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £690 after pleading guilty to breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
HSE inspector Martin Smith said: “The significant dangers of death and serious injury associated with falls from height during construction work are well-known in the industry and working near fragile roof lights without appropriate safety measures in place is simply not acceptable.”

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