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Man who fell through skylight at work may claim for his injuries

07th November 2012

The man, who was employed with a painting and decorating firm at the time of the incident, had been painting the roof of an industrial building in Birmingham.

While he undertook this task, he stepped onto a skylight, which shattered and caused him to fall through the roof onto the building’s concrete floor more than seven metres below.

He sustained multiple injuries, including a broken right leg, wrist, and elbow, as well as suffering breaks to the right side of his pelvis, head injuries, and facial lacerations.

He was required to stay in hospital for three weeks and undergo reconstructive surgery, and despite having now returned home he remains bed-bound since his leg is still in traction.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation revealed that the man’s employer – the sub contractors in this case – had failed to conduct a suitable risk assessment, and had no safe system of work in place. Furthermore, precautionary measures such as safety nets, covers for the skylights, and harnesses for workers, were not in use.

The principal contractor, which was a building company, was also found to have been negligent towards the safety of people working on the site. The firm had failed to make sure the painting and decorating company were capable, and had not monitored its work.

Both the principal and sub contractors were prosecuted by the HSE. The principal contractor was fined £3,000 and paid £1,932 in court costs. The sub-contactor which had employed the man was fined £4,500 and ordered to pay court costs of £1932.

The worker is still not sure whether he will be able to continue his career. He has been told that it may be another year before his injuries heal sufficiently to tell how much mobility he will regain.

Now that both of the firms liable for his fall from height have pled guilty, he may be able to make a claim against one or both of them for his serious work injuries.

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