Man fell through roof at building

Blackpool Magistrates Court

Blackpool Magistrates Court

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A man fell through the roof of a farm building on his first day in a new job.

Paul Rawlinson was not given any training as a roofer when he was told to go onto the building and start dismantling its roof.

But the 29-year-old moved off a plank meant to take his weight and fell 11ft through the roof to the ground.

He was airlifted to hospital where he was treated for three fractured ribs,three broken vertebrae and a series of other injuries.

Blackpool magistrates heard how Mr Rawlinson, from Over Wyre, has to wear a spinal brace and was unlikely to work again for at least five years.

The court heard that Mr Rawlinson is taking civil proceedings against the man who hired him to work at Hoskinshire Farm, Out Rawcliffe, where the farmer wanted the building demolishing and another built.

He hired builder James Brown, 43, of Horse Park Lane, Pilling, to do the job.

Despite having a safety plan drawn up, Brown did not use the proper equipment, such as a cherry picker with a basket or safety netting.

Brown admitted two offences under Health and Safety regulations – failing to properly plan for the safety aspects of working at height, and failing to take proper measures to prevent someone falling.

He was fined £9,735, ordered to pay £3,788 court costs and a £120 victims’ surcharge.

The court heard Mr Rawlinson had not been given any safety training prior to starting work on August 5 last year.

Netting had been supplied to the site, but was not erected, and as a result of the compression injuries Mr Rawlinson lost three centimetres in height for the rest of his life.

Magistrates were told one of the reasons why safety rules were not followed was Mr Brown’s wish to save money on the contract.

Brown had been in the same business for 25 years, and had never been involved in any other industrial accident.

He did not use the netting because the timbers in the building were rotten. He did not use a hydraulic lift because there were metal props in the way shoring up timbers.