Roofing accident as company ignores report of Health & Safety Consultants


Fall through skylight

Chris Buck was waterproofing the roof of a school in Stockport when he tripped on cables and fell through a skylight. He landed on the concrete floor below and suffered neck and back injuries that have prevented him from working since.

His employers, Ploughcroft Building Services, ignored a key item in a report from safety consultants, produced only some 6 weeks before. This stressed the need to cover the dangerous skylight or erect a barrier around it.

Pupils at Reddish Vale Technology College were passing under the skylight shortly before the accident, so this could have resulted in further injuries or deaths. Likewise Mr. Buck could easily have been paralysed for life, or could have died.

Can you afford to ignore Health and Safety

In a statement Chris Buck said:

“There is a very clear message that needs to go out to businesses that they cannot afford to ignore health and safety issues, or they will have serious consequences and impact on the reputation of businesses.”

These are wise words; and one might add that when a company receives a report from Health & Safety Consultants or CDM Consultants it must act on the findings: good proactive consultants will always aim to work with firms to ensure that there is appropriate follow-up action from their recommendations.

Over 4000 people in 2010 had a major injury due to a fall from height at work, so this is not an issue to take lightly.
In this case, Ploughcroft Building Services were prosecuted by the Health & Safety Executive and Trafford Magistrates Court fined them £10,000 plus £10,937 being the prosecution’s costs.

Costs like these and the damage to a company’s good name are additional reasons to commission and then keep updated a risk assessment report, and to ensure that the findings are enacted.