A nine metre fall ended in fatality for one Lancashire builder, but man anchors and walkovers could have helped to prevent him from breaking through a fragile warehouse roof.
In July 2012, the 39-year-old Fleetwood man was helping to clear debris that had been blocking the gutters on the roof of a toy distributor’s warehouse.
Four days into the job, he stood on a clear plastic rooflight, which was not designed to be load-carrying; it gave way beneath him, and he fell nine metres on to a concrete floor, sustaining fatal injuries.
The company has been fined £200,000 plus court costs, while the man’s employer was given a six-month suspended prison sentence.
HSE inspector Allen Shute said harnesses may have saved the man’s life, while placing covers over the rooflights could have safeguarded those too – permanent walkovers could have achieved this for the long term.
He said: “Sadly incidents of workers falling through warehouse roofs are all too common, and it’s vital firms do more to make sure this kind of work is carried out safely and by competent people.”