Contractor fined £105,000 after roofer paralysed

Grant Prior 8 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

Structural steel price jumps another £50 a tonne

British Steel blames New Year's price hike on continuing high product costs
7 hours ago

Green light for Birmingham Paradise landmark hotel

17-storey hotel will be the 'cornerstone' of Phase 2
6 hours ago

Enabling works start at £400m Manchester First Street

Downing to start main construction in March of three resi buildings rising up to 45 storeys
7 hours ago

Former BAM Nuttall chief to join Murphy

Adrian Savory to start new role as director of Major Projects division next month
6 hours ago

Bouygues set for London Tustin Estate 700-home rebuild

Phased building programme to start towards the end of the year
7 hours ago

Safety horror show on housing site leads to director ban

Court hears contractor ignored multiple prohibition and improvement notices
7 hours ago

JV North calls up local firms for £250m new home works

Framework for home building projects worth up to £2m
7 hours ago

Kier more than halves debts to below £200m

Kier chief reports steady progress in first six months of trading
1 day ago

Barhale boosts funds as it looks to rebuild turnover

Contractor confident as water companies ramp-up spending plans
1 day ago

HS2 labour agency looks to float on AIM

£23m turnover labour supply business looks to raise funds for expansion
1 day ago

Kane scores £29m M&E deal with Willmott Dixon

Off site works to play crucial role in major London estate contract
1 day ago

Graham secures third Audley retirement village

Work starts on Audley Villages site at Scarcroft, West Yorkshire.
1 day ago

Keltbray wins first deal for former nmcn infrastructure arm

Hull waste processing contract for rescued division
2 days ago

50 firms win £750m decarbonisation framework

Fusion21 framework to target 'whole building' works on homes and schools
2 days ago

Balfour Beatty UK construction MD to step down

Tom Edgcumbe to depart after just over a year as MD construction services in England and Wales
2 days ago

Crest Nicholson trebles cladding retrofit provisions to £43m

House builder revises building safety retrofit costs in face of new Government guidance
2 days ago

BAM bags £110m refurb of iconic Covent Garden tower

Landmark Seifert-designed 15-storey Space House to get two extra floors
3 days ago

Winvic to start UK’s largest speculative shed

Ellesmere Port warehouse understood to be worth around £80m
2 days ago

Kier signs deal for £169m Luton hospital revamp

Main construction work to start this month and last until 2024
2 days ago

Willmott Dixon nabs £30m Kirklees police HQ

Work to start within next few weeks on regional police HQ
3 days ago

Kier reported to be in talks to buy Tilbury Douglas

Talks reported to be at an advanced stage between both boards
3 days ago

Finance sealed for next-generation London office job

Goldman Sachs takes stake in London Bridge office project
3 days ago

John F Hunt starts giant clean-up on £110m Walsall site

Land remediation work at contaminated site will take two years
3 days ago

Build to rent boom lifts Watkin Jones profit to £52m

Surging build to rent market lifts development pipeline to £1.8 billion
3 days ago

HS2 awards £310m station lifts and escalators deal

TK Elevator signs 160 lifts and 130 escalators deal for four stations
4 days ago

Robot cutter set to revolutionise paving jobs for Eurovia

Automated system will spell end for noisy slab cutting on busy sites
4 days ago

First mass built carbon negative homes get underway

St Modwen first volume developer to build affordable carbon-negative homes
4 days ago

GMI Construction names new CEO

Lee Powell takes helm as CEO at GMI Construction in growth push
4 days ago

514-home London scheme clears final hurdle

Inland Homes declares victory after three-year planning battle over Hillingdon Master Brewer site
4 days ago

Henry Construction wins £30m Clarion housing scheme

Ravensbury estate regeneration in Mitcham is Henry's first project for Clarion
4 days ago

Contractor services