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Wigan worker injured in fall through sports hall roof

05-06-2013

Photo shows the corrugated panels Lee Byrne fell through on the roof of Loreto High School in Chorlton

A Wigan roofing firm has been fined after an employee was severely injured when he fell ten metres through the roof of a school sports hall.

Lee Byrne, 29 from Ince, was working on a project to replace the raised roof on the sports hall at Loreto High School in Chorlton with a flat roof when the incident happened on 9 November 2011.

His employer, K Pendlebury & Sons Limited, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation found the site fell below the minimum legal standards for safety.

Trafford Magistrates’ Court in Sale heard workers had removed old steel beams under part of the roof so that new beams could be installed. However, this meant the corrugated tin panels on part of the structure were left unsupported.

Mr Byrne was walking over the roof to his colleagues to get their lunch order when the panels under his feet gave way. He fell ten metres, hitting a section of scaffolding on his way down to the ground.

He suffered a fractured pelvis, broken fingers and his right arm and elbow were smashed to pieces. He has had to have an artificial elbow fitted and has so far been unable to return to work due to the extent of his injuries.

The court was told there was no barrier around the fragile section of the roof, and the scaffolding had only been erected under parts of the roof rather than covering the full width.

K Pendlebury & Sons Ltd. pleaded guilty to a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 after it failed to ensure workers were prevented from standing on fragile parts of the roof.

The company, of Ormskirk Road in Pemberton, was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £3,539 towards the cost of the prosecution on 31 May 2013.

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