A Sunderland construction firm has been fined after a worker was seriously injured when he fell three metres through a fragile roof light landing on the floor below.
The 29-year-old who does not want to be named, was part of a team of workers employed by Brims Construction Ltd to carry out the refurbishment of Pearl Assurance House, New Bridge Street, Newcastle, when the incident happened in September 2013.
As a result of the fall he fractured two vertebrae and suffered severe bruising, but is expected to make a full recovery.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Brims Construction Ltd for safety failings after investigating the incident.
Newcastle Magistrates’ Court heard the worker was on the second-floor roof of the building and frequently had to pass close to two fragile plastic roof lights. At one point he placed an item on one of the roof lights but it fractured, and he fell through, landing on the concrete floor below.
The HSE investigation found there were no barriers or any other safety measures in place to prevent a fall through the roof lights, despite the fact that a consultant working for the company had recommended they were required. The only precaution was a paper notice attached to the roof lights warning they were fragile, but these had disappeared by the time the incident happened.
The court was told Brims Construction Ltd had failed to provide suitable and sufficient measures to prevent the fall. After the incident the company erected scaffolding fencing at each roof light without impeding any other work.
Brims Construction Ltd was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £690 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 9(2)(a) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.