Supervisor fined after serious fall accident injuries

Supervisor fined after man falls 2820

A site supervisor has been fined by magistrates after it was found he ignored guidance from his bosses on health and safety risks.

Paul Burke allowed workers, including Phillip Giles, on to a roof when he decided that using a safer scissor lift was taking too much time and was proving too difficult to complete before a deadline.

Employees of the company Mr Burke worked for were removing roof sheets that had been found to contain asbestos, but after being allowed to work on the dangerous roof, which had been set as off-limits by executives, Mr Giles stepped on a loose piece of skylight.

The contractor fell more than ten metres to the floor and suffered extensive injuries all over his body. He is now paralysed from the neck down and has been unable to return to work - losing substantial income.

Durham Crown Court heard Mr Burke was acting out of his remit when telling employees to move on to the top of the building and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors that visited the scene found there had been specific best practice guidelines set out by bosses that had been ignored by the man.

The supervisor pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to breaching Regulation 4(1)(b) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 because of his inability to protect workers from falls from height.

He was fined £1,000 as well as being told to pay £9,765.88 in legal prosecution costs.

Speaking after the trial had finished, Mr Giles, 24, said: "I welcome the fact that the HSE has taken this action and I hope that this means that the fall accident that happened to me won't happen to anyone else."

HSE inspector Keith Partington added: "Mr Burke allowed some of the work to be undertaken on the roof without any measures in place to guard against falls and injury. He was not authorised to make changes of this nature."ADNFCR-1500-ID-801599917-ADNFCR

17/06/2013 15:33