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A contractor who fell through a skylight in a work accident may start a claim for compensation against his employers, Bryen & Langley.
Paul Shaw of Kent, 45, suffered multiple fractures and a broken right arm when he fell through a roof opening that had only been covered with a thick plastic.
Bryen & Langley, the company Mr Shaw was working for on a contract basis, was overseeing the construction of an extension and swimming pool at a house in Tonbridge in February 2012 when the accident happened.
Th investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found Bryen & Langley failed to ensure proper safeguards were in place to stop any of the workers from falling through the plastic sheetings; which looked similar to glass when stretched over the opening.
Mr Shaw has since left hospital and, after taking five months off work, has returned to employment. The man does, however, still suffer from restricted wrist movement as a result of his fall, which makes certain building tasks harder to complete.
Bryen & Langley, of Footscray Road, Eltham, London, has been fined £12,000 and ordered to pay £9,209 in costs by judges after it admitted breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
HSE inspector Melvyn Stancliffe said: "The distance that Mr Shaw fell could easily have resulted in his death. He is a lucky man - though I am sure he did not feel so at the time.
"This incident was avoidable and Bryen & Langley, as lead contractor, had a responsibility for safety on the site. It would have been a simple matter to have fixed the skylight covers in place."
Mr Stancliffe also said the coverings on the roof should have been replaced regularly to prevent any structural problems that would have made falls more likely.
HSE statistics show that 40 workers were killed and more than 3,400 injured in falls from height in the workplace in 2011-12.
Posted by Francesca Witney
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