Contractor fined £105,000 after roofer paralysed

Grant Prior 4 years ago
Share

A Liverpool contractor has been fined £105,000 after a roofer was paralysed when he fell from a ladder in Southport while carrying a bag of building materials.

Michael Riley, 50, from Skelmersdale, now has virtually no movement below his neck and will need to use a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

Walton-based W Carroll & Sons Ltd, which hired Riley as a subcontractor, was prosecuted by the HSE after an investigation found roofers  needed to carry heavy bags on their shoulders while they made their way down ladders.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that the company was working on a project to replace the roofs on approximately 350 properties in the Maghull and Southport area, and was using around 20 subcontractors to carry out the work.

Riley had been asked to remove cement sheets from the roof of a house but had not been able to use the chute feeding general rubble into a skip as the sheets contained asbestos and needed to be disposed of separately.

The only way he had of getting the bags of asbestos sheets down to the ground was to hold each bag on his shoulder, with only one hand on the ladder.

The bags, which weighed around ten kilograms each, could not be tied and so had to be held upright.

As he made his way down the ladder on 21 January 2011, Riley lost his balance after just a few rungs and fell backwards for several metres.

He hit the back of a truck that was parked next to the scaffolding and then fell onto the ground.

Both his legs and arms were paralysed in the fall, and he suffered major internal injuries which mean he will be severely disabled for the rest of his life.

The court was told Carrolls had failed to provide a method statement or risk assessment for the work, or suitable equipment – such as a gin wheel – so that the bags could be lowered to the ground safely.

The HSE investigation also found the company had failed to change the system for removing asbestos waste following the incident, which continued to put lives in danger.

W Carroll & Sons Ltd, of Walton, was fined £105,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £64,600 after pleading guilty to a safety breach.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Alan Pojur said: “The roofers had been told not to mix the asbestos waste with the other rubble so they couldn’t use the chutes.

`’The only option they had was to carry the bulky, unsealed bags on their shoulders as they made their way down the ladders. This required them to hold the ladder with only one hand.

“It’s shocking that the company failed to change its procedures even after Michael fell from the ladder, meaning other workers’ lives continued to be put in danger.”

Latest news

Carillion woes hit King’s Cross office project

Hunt on for a new contractor to deliver 11-storey office scheme
21 hours ago

Persimmon chairman resigns after bonus controversy

House builder admits £100m+ bonus plan should have been capped
21 hours ago

Green light for 1,300 homes at Nestlé factory

Barratt London to build 1,300 homes at former factory site in on outskirts of west London
21 hours ago

Galliford Try lands £54m Manchester Airport project

Contractor wins second taxiway project on £1bn airport upgrade
21 hours ago

Czech facade specialist starts £60m London job

Sipral starts Canary Wharf residential twin towers for Ecoworld Ballymore jv
1 day ago

McLaren gets start date for £58m Banbury shopping centre

Construction to begin in February on Castle Quay expansion
21 hours ago

Winners named for £400m infrastructure consultancy

Costain and Mace among line-up for Crown Commercial Services infrastructure framework
1 day ago

Contractor in court after workers exposed to silica dust

Safety inspectors find workers dry cutting bricks in a basement
21 hours ago

Betting Spy: David Moyes – an apology

The West Ham boss is working his magic and the Irons are a good bet away at stuttering Stoke
1 day ago

Boost your online presence with the new Enquirer Directory

New site for suppliers and buyers will showcase their products, services and latest stories
2 months ago

Crossrail site protest as Balfour lays off 50 sparks

Contractor insists redundancies are unconnected to £5,000-a-head finishing bonus demands
3 days ago

Interserve seals £180m lending deal for extra headroom

Debbie White seals deal for more time to restructure business
2 days ago

Severfield lands steelwork package for Google HQ

Specialist to start work in June for main contractor Lendlease at King's Cross site
2 days ago

Kier secures £138m London health deal

Kier P22 work haul soars to £400m
2 days ago

Scape research reveals need for huge school building push

Procurement body calls for national school building strategy
2 days ago

Carillion wins another £11.6m rail electrification deal

Network Rail awards station upgrade deal on Glasgow to Edinburgh route
3 days ago

Galliford Try wins £24m M49 junction

Work to start on new junction at Avonmouth in the New Year
2 days ago

Costain director joins pipe-lining specialist

Tim Bowen takes the helm at Aquam to deliver ambitious expansion plan
3 days ago

Highways England to trial self healing roads

Sunflower oil capsules in asphalt could save £260m a year
3 days ago

Tarmac swaps quarries for Breedon concrete plants

Tarmac offloads four quarries for 27 Breedon ready-mixed concrete plants
3 days ago

Mace wins £140m London School of Economics project

Work to start on Marshall building once McGee completes demolition in the spring
3 days ago

Construction start date for £350m Tower Hamlets site

Planning go-ahead for Galliard Homes and Lindhill at Ailsa Wharf
4 days ago

Specialist Mick George moves into housebuilding

Civils contractor forms joint venture to target housing market
3 days ago

Fusion21 launches £150m sprinkler supplier panel

Local authorities and housing associations call for post-Grenfell preferred supplier list
3 days ago

Ardmore wins £77m Stratford hotel contract

Two-year build programme gets underway at the 18-storey Gantry development
4 days ago

Lovell to start £30m Doncaster Lakeside scheme

Eastern division boasts £100m forward order book from string of schemes
3 days ago

Balfour Beatty on track for 2-3% margin by late 2018

Leo Quinn confident of paying down borrowings as they fall due in 2018
4 days ago

Skanska and Multiplex eye £100m City fringe office job

Aldgate Developments prepares to start £100m phase 2 office complex
4 days ago

Speller Metcalfe wins “non-confrontational” £16m contract

Contractor to start revamp of Derby Silk Mill next year using innovative procurement model
4 days ago

Plans for new £80m library at University of Bristol

Design team appointed as construction set to start in summer of 2019
4 days ago

Contractor services