Double Prosecution

After a worker suffered life changing injuries, two companies were sentenced for breaching safety regulations. The two companies were; Principal contractor Weiser Construction Ltd and Complete Cladding Systems Ltd.

Brian Robinson was working as a sheeter cladder on the 4th January 2016, at the weiser construction site at the John Cotton factory in Mirfield, West Yorkshire. Leeds Magistrate’s Court heard how he was on a factory roof affixing sheet metal cladding and capping to the gable end of an adjoining build, when he fell through the roof as he was tying the cappings to it. Mr Robinson fell 9.7m into the factory area below through a roof light. Mr Robinson had operations, which would insert six pins into his pelvis, two pins to the top and to pins to the bottom of his femur, after suffering an open fracture to his femur and many fractures to his pelvis.

A further investigation found that the original scaffold that had been built upon the roof, had been removed previous to the cladding work being completed. The preferred control measure was to use spandeck boards with guardrails, however the use of those boards would have meant that the workers were unable to affic the handrails in situ.

There had not been any nets scheduled to be used the factory area. The top half of Mr Robinson’s leg had been struck by the top of a storage cage as he fell from the roof approximately 2.4m high, prior to falling further to the floor behind the storage cage.

The company which is now in liquidation, has been fined £145,000 with £5,046.30 costs. As the Weiser Ltd construction of Clark Business Recovery Ltd, York Place, Leeds pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

After pleading guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, the Complete Cladding Systems Ltd of Newton Cap House, Toronto, Bishop Auckland has been fined  £165,000 with £5,114.49 costs.

Inspector Paul Thompson commented after the hearing saying, ”Work at height, such as roof work, is a high-risk activity that accounts for a high proportion of workplace serious injuries and fatalities each year. This was a wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the principal contractor to manage and monitor the works to ensure the correct work equipment was being used. This risk was further amplified by the cladding company’s failure to ensure suitable measures were in place to prevent persons falling a distance liable to cause personal injury.”

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