An incident in which a man fell through an abattoir roof serves as a reminder of the value of safety ladders for safe access to roofs, and of walkovers to prevent people from falling through their more fragile sections.
In this instance, the HSE reports that the married father of two was given a ladder to use to get to the guttering of an Eastbourne abattoir, in order to clean it.
But the ladder was too short, so he went to the other side of the building and climbed a flight of stairs to the roof, and began walking across it to reach his original location.
Instead, he stood on an unseen skylight, fell over five metres and landed badly on his wrist, sustaining injuries that have prevented him from returning to his job in the 12 months since.
The injuries could have been much worse, except that the victim’s fall was coincidentally broken by a pile of animal skins he himself had placed there earlier in the day.
His narrow escape – and prolonged discomfort from the wrist injury – are timely reminders of the value of walkovers on fragile roofs, and of safety ladders to reach elevated positions with less risk.