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Blacksmith fined after worker falls from roof

A self-employed blacksmith and fabricator has been fined after one of his employees was severely injured when he fell more than seven metres from a roof he was working on.

Martin Mundie, 23, from Aberdeenshire, was part of a team carrying out work at a farm to convert a former pig shed into a workshop.

On 10th March 2009, Mr Mundie and three other workers climbed a ladder onto the roof to begin replacing the sheets and capping. A short time into the work, there was a loud crack and one of Mr Mundie's colleagues turned around to see him disappearing through a skylight. He fell approximately eight metres to the concrete floor below.

He sustained a broken arm and wrist, and needed a bone graft as well as two operations to insert three plates and six pins. He was off work for ten months and still has continuing pain in his arm with numbness and limited movement, as well as the scars left by his operations.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that at no time before work started, or while it was ongoing, had the employer assessed any of the risks involved or put a safe system of work in place. HSE inspectors also found that none of the workers had any safety provision while on the roof.

He was fined £4,500 after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Falls from height are the most common cause of fatal injuries in the workplace. In 2009/10, 38 people in Britain died after work-related falls from height.


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