The tragically bizarre chain of events left one roofer working for Massey Roofing and Building Contractors paralysed.
The sequence of falls was triggered when a caretaker working for building owner Bizspace fell through a window while cleaning it. He escaped serious injury breaking several ribs and suffering bruising.
A second worker was then sent up to the skylight to take photos of the scene – but fell through a different window. He landed feet-first on a mezzanine floor with no serious injury.
Three weeks later, on 10 April 2007, a 62-year-old man from Bury, employed by Massey Roofing and Building Contractors, was sent to repair the broken skylights.
While fixing a skylight, the worker, who asked not to be named, fell more than 4m to the ground below.
He sustained severe spinal injuries, leading to him being paralysed from the waist down.
Bizspace, the building’s owner and the employer of the first two men, and Anthony Massey, trading as Massey Roofing and Building Contractors, were prosecuted by HSE for putting workers’ lives at risk.
Bizspace was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £9,000. Anthony Massey, 67 of Sunnybank Road, Bury, pleaded guilty to health and safety offences.
Because he has been declared bankrupt, Massey received a conditional discharge and will not be fined as long as he does not commit another offence in the next twelve months.
Martin Heywood, the investigating inspector at HSE, said: “It is astonishing that virtually the same incident was allowed to happen on three separate occasions.
“A man was sent onto a roof without safety equipment, despite two caretakers falling through skylights less than a month earlier.
“As a result, the worker is likely to need to use a wheelchair for the rest of his life. If the project had been properly planned, using appropriate equipment for work at height, then all three workers would have remained uninjured.