Roofing firm in court after teenager breaks back in fall

A building firm has been fined £10,00 after a young 17 year old mental health patient broke their back and pelvis as she fell over six metres from the roof of the Royal Preston Hospital.

The firm were prosecuted as a result of this incident by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation found that the company had failed to prevent access to the scaffolding on the site.

The court heard that the firm had been hired to replace the flat roof on a one storey section of the hospital. They used scaffolding to reach the roof but failed to properly fence off the steps leading up the scaffolding tower which was in place.

The patient as a result of this was able to climb the scaffold. She fell from the roof in the gap between two buildings and the emergency services had to remove one of the windows to be able to free her.

The roofing firm were fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £516 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007.

Speaking after the court case was HSE inspector Chris Smith and he said

“A vulnerable teenager was badly injured because they failed to make sure its scaffolding was properly fenced off.

“Construction firms have a legal duty to make sure construction sites are secure and clearly signed but that didn’t happen in this case.

“It’s vital that companies think carefully about how they plan projects in public places, such as hospitals, so that members of the public are not put at risk.”

Regulation 27(2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 states: “Where necessary in the interests of health and safety, a construction site shall, so far as is reasonably practicable and in accordance with the level of risk posed, either have its perimeter identified by suitable signs and be so arranged that its extent is readily identifiable or be fenced off, or both.”

Source: HSE