Roofing boss fined after worker seriously injured in fall

An Aberdeenshire roofing boss has been fined after one of his workers was seriously injured when he fell five metres from the edge of a flat roof.

Mr McNeilly was throwing lead cut-offs onto the ground while standing on the flat roof when he either slipped or inadvertently stepped off the edge. He lost his balance and fell five metres to the ground, landing on his right side near a skip.

His right hip ball joint was severed from his thigh bone and a metal plate and four pins had to be inserted. He was in hospital for four days and was off work for 16 weeks. He has largely made a full recovery but still experiences pain in his hip.

Following the incident, an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that no scaffold platform with guard-rails and toe-boards or any other form of fall prevention equipment were in place to prevent falls either from the edges of the flat roof or at the edge of the lower porch roof.

The investigation also revealed that Mr Mackie had not been to the site that morning or in the three or four days prior to the incident and had not given any specific instructions about how to do the work.

At Aberdeen Sheriff Court the roofing boss was fined £15,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of The Work at Height Regulations 2005.

In 2010/11, 38 people (both employees and self-employed) in Britain died and there were 3,177 serious injuries after work-related falls from height.

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