Aston Villa fined for training ground injury

Grant Prior 14 years ago
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Premier League football club Aston Villa has been fined after a demolition worker fell through a roof during the redevelopment of its training ground.

Two workers from Mechanical Cleansing Services Ltd were working at the Bodymoor Heath complex near Sutton Coldfield when one of them plunged three metres through a fragile rooflight.

The company had been employed to drain fuel tanks on a roof during demolition of an old building on the site.

Stratford on Avon Magistrates heard that the 34-year-old victim was cleaning the tanks and fell through a rooflight as he was heading towards a ladder to get down.

He broke bones in his heels in the three-metre fall and was off work for more than six months.

The club, its contractor and Mechanical Cleansing Services’ director, Damon Roe, all admitted health and safety offences.

An internal ladder was blocked so Mr Roe decided to use a ladder against the outside front of the building to access the roof’s plant room. However, both he and the football club failed to inform workers of the dangers or how to avoid the risk of falling through the fragile rooflights.

HSE inspector Carol Southerd said: “Work at height can be very dangerous if not properly planned and although the victim’s injuries were severe, they could have been much worse.

“If the internal ladder had been used, then this incident would not have happened. A simple conversation with the club was all it would have taken to arrange for the blocked ladder to be cleared.

“There was clear failure to warn the victim or his colleague of the dangerous condition of the roof or to provide safe access to the tank.”

Aston Villa Football Club was fined £1,350 and ordered to pay £1,610 costs.

Mechanical Cleansing Services Ltd – of Aston, Birmingham – was fined £1,000 and director Damon Roe was also fined £1,000.

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