McKeown Groundworks Limited fined £12k after worker breaks back in fragile skylight fall

McKeown Groundworks Limited has been fined £12,000 after a worker broke his back when he fell more than seven metres through a fragile barn roof in Scotland.

The 42-year-old had been sub-contracted by the Stranraer-based groundwork company to carry out roof repairs on a barn at Whiteley’s Farm on May 24, 2016.

He suffered a compression fracture of the lower back when he stepped on a translucent light panel which broke under his weight resulting in his falling through the roof to the ground below.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that McKeown Groundworks Limited failed to adequately supervise this work at height and relied on the experience of the workers to avoid injury while working at height.

It was also found that McKeown failed to plan the work at height and therefore no control measures had been put in place to prevent workers falling from or through the roof.

McKeown Groundworks Limited whose registered office is at King Street, Castle Douglas pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2015 at Stranraer Sheriff Court and was fined £12,000.

HSE Inspector Helen Diamond said: “McKeown’s failings resulted in serious injuries which could have easily been prevented had the company planned the work at height.

"Planning the work at height would have included an assessment of the risks and ensuring that suitable and sufficient measures were in place to prevent falls from height.

“Work at height is the biggest single cause of fatal and serious injury in the construction industry, particularly on small projects.”

Your News

If you've got a story that would be of interest to Builder & Engineer readers, send us an email

Features

2017-05-31 13:33

The rate of Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) will rise by two per cent on June 1 to 12 per cent on all non-exempt transactions. Martin Bennison, managing director at construction finance firm Ultimate Finance, explains what this means for UK construction companies.

2017-05-25 08:41

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is growing in popularity and is now mandatory for centrally funded public-sector projects. Experts and the curious are gathering more and more frequently at dedicated congresses, exhibitions and workshops. Many people are now asking: Where does the UK stand on the issue of BIM and the digitisation of the construction industry?

2017-05-10 10:47

Opening site doors to more females is vital to plugging the construction skills gap, reports Claire Cameron

THE construction industry continues to be plagued by a well-documented skills gap with some suggesting the shortage could get worse before it gets better.

2017-05-08 14:27

If you work on a building site, are self-employed or have a zero-hours contract, you might be surprised to know you work in the ”gig economy”. This is the economy characterised by temporary work and irregular hours, pay and working conditions.

2017-03-29 10:31

Jeremy Gould, VP sales Europe, TomTom Telematics, discusses how technological developments in vehicle telematics have opened up new workflow management possibilities for the construction industry

2017-03-21 09:31

With the demand of oil increasing, it’s estimated that the Earth will reach its full capacity for oil consumption at some point within the next 20 years. This is despite the production of oil decreasing, and the construction industry is no exception to this, reports Niftylift.

2017-03-17 10:55

With construction firms leading the way in drone technology, Claire Cameron takes a closer look at how unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can be used onsite

2017-03-07 16:20

While the physical safety of workers is prioritised on construction sites, mental health is often overlooked, reports Claire Cameron

Free E-newsletter Sign-Up

Sign up for our free e-newsletter

Looking for a company or service?