Worker suffers multiple injuries at Sale barn

Michael Hunt

Three men have been fined at total of £5,000 after a worker suffered multiple injuries when he fell eight metres through a barn roof in Greater Manchester.

The Health and Safety Executive prosecuted Adrian Evens, Andrew Oliver and John Long following the incident on Fairy Lane in Sale on 20 June 2007.

David Pass, 28 from Droylsden, was standing on the roof of a former riding stable, removing corrugated panels, when he fell eight metres to the ground below. He suffered serious injuries to his head and back, was in a coma for several days and was made partially blind in one eye.

The HSE investigation found that no scaffolding or protection had been provided for the worker, who was expected to balance on the steel frame of the building while removing roof panels.

Trafford Magistrates' Court heard that John Long, 62, was the owner of the barn and had acted as a project manager, overseeing its conversion into an antiques warehouse. He had hired Andrew Oliver, 43, to carry out the work, who subcontracted it to Adrian Evens, 35.

Ian Betley, a construction inspector for HSE in Greater Manchester, said: "David could easily have been killed when he fell through a fragile roof panel. Workers at the site were expected to balance dangerously on the steel structure, while they knocked through bolts on fragile sheets. Clearly this was very dangerous.

"This case should act as a warning to construction companies about the dangers their employees and contractors face when they carry out work at height. Otherwise workers will continue to be injured or even killed."

Evens pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by failing to ensure the safety of his employees. Evens, of York Road in Droylsden, was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £2,000 towards the cost of the prosecution at Trafford Magistrates' Court on 13 July.

Oliver and Long both pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by allowing workers to be exposed to risks to their health and safety.

Oliver, of Juniper Crescent in Droylsden, was also fined £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,000. Long, of Fairy Lane in Sale, was fined £1,000 with costs of £1,500.

Betley added: "All three men failed to plan the work safely in advance. Scaffolding, or a mobile work platform such as a scissor lift, should have been used to remove the corrugated sheets from underneath. There was no need to climb onto the roof."

The HSE said more than 4,000 employees suffered a major injury as a result of a fall from height at work and 15 were killed last year.

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