Builder,67, cheats death in factory roof fall

Grant Prior 7 years ago

A Burnley builder cheated death by luckily landing on a machine cover after falling through a factory roof.

The 67-year-old fell four metres while carrying out repair work at engineering firm Lupton and Place last September.

Reedley Magistrates’ Court was told the company, which employs almost 150 people, allowed the contractor to work along a section of the roof without anything in place to stop him falling.

The builder was fixing a leak on the roof when he lost his balance, stepped backwards and fell through one of the roof panels. He escaped injury after landing on a machine cover more than four metres below.

Lupton and Place was fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £6,250 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Matt Lea, said: “The contractor had been employed by the firm for more than 30 years, but nothing was done to monitor or control the work he was doing.

“A company the size of Lupton and Place should have requested method statements and risk assessments from him to make sure the work could be done safely.

“It would have been much more sensible to use a cherry picker to fix the leak, instead of allowing someone to walk along the roof and work on the fragile surface.

“The handyman was very lucky to come away from the incident with just bruising. He could easily have suffered a major injury or even been killed in a fall of that distance.”

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