A BUILDING contractor has been fined for breaking safety laws after a young worker plunged five metres through a barn roof onto a concrete floor causing extensive and permanent injuries.
Ian Robyn Perkins asked Gethin Bailey, aged 23, of Newborough, to dismantle the barn roof unsupervised at the barn in Llangaffo.
HSE Inspector Chris Wilcox, speaking after the hearing, said: “Mr Bailey continues to suffer from severe injuries caused by his needless fall but the consequences could have been even worse.”
Mr Bailey went onto the fragile roof to cut through bolt heads that were securing the roof sheets when a section of roof gave way beneath him.
Holyhead magistrates court heard that Mr Bailey suffered broken wrists, an ankle and heel and two fractured vertebrae making it difficult to walk and hold things, including his two young children.
He has also been diagnosed with arthritis caused by the fall and has been unable to return to work since the incident, which happened in December 2012.
The HSE investigation found Mr Bailey had been sent to the site with no supervision from Mr Perkins, who should have warned him of the dangers of working on a fragile roof and advised him how to carry out the job in a safe way.
Perkins, of Newborough, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act etc 1974 and was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £775 in costs.
An average of between eight and 12 people die from similar falls through fragile roofs and roof lights every year.
Mr Wilcox added contractors and workers should recognise that cement roof sheets are not designed to bear loads.
He added: “Work should be planned so no-one needs to get onto the roof but if this is necessary, proper safeguards should be put in place, such as perimeter edge protection, safety nets and stagings on the roof to spread the load.”
For more information on working safely on roofs, visit www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/geis5.htm