A food manufacturer has been fined almost £2 million pounds after two workers were seriously injured when they fell over four metres through a roof light.
Leeds Magistrates’ Court was told how the pair were investigating a leak from the roof, which they did not realise contained several roof lights.
The workers were walking closely together and as they both stood on the same roof light, they consequently fell through, due to their combined weight.
One worker suffered four fractured ribs, a punctured lung and muscular contusions to his outer right thigh. The other suffered a fractured skull, muscular injuries to his right leg and injuries inside his ear which cause ongoing problems with his balance, memory and mental health.
The HSE’s investigation found the roof was made of asbestos cement and had several roof lights situated along it, but they were not visible due to the build-up of moss and dirt which had accumulated over the years.
Karro Foods Ltd was fined £1,866,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8,019.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Mark Slater commented: “This was a wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the company to provide adequate controls against the risks arising from working at height.
Consideration of roof fragility and roof lights, visible or not, should be made, especially on older buildings.”
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