Contractor fined £105,000 after roofer paralysed

Grant Prior 6 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

Unsafe cladding replacement work a priority to continue

Latest government coronavirus construction policy update
20 hours ago

Police threaten to fine contractors on way to work

WIllmott Dixon asks subcontractors and staff to carry letters to avoid fines
2 days ago

Opinion: Official line needed now on site closures

Boris Johnson needs to spell out now exactly what construction work can continue
2 days ago

Groundworks and civils firms start mass layoffs

More than a thousand self-employed workers axed in the Midlands alone
2 days ago

Redrow loses fight to keep sites open as supplies hit

House builder pledges to re-open sites when normality returns to the supply chain
2 days ago

Balfour Beatty board follows Kier’s move to take 20% pay cut

Chief executive Leo Quinn says Balfour is facing crisis on a strong financial footing
2 days ago

Self-employed to get 80% of average monthly profit

Support scheme only open to people with a trading profit of up to £50,000
3 days ago

Coronavirus update for construction: Friday 27

The latest advice and information from industry trade bodies
2 days ago

CITB suspends training levy for three months

Full 2020 levy payment to be collected in August
3 days ago

Henry Construction Projects tops £300m turnover

London contractor trebles in size over three years
2 days ago

£100m Manchester CIS tower revamp approved

Landmark 31-storey tower refit approved as facade reaches end of design life
2 days ago

Willmott Dixon: Why we are keeping sites open

Contractor promises to keep workers safe and look after supply chain
3 days ago

Carey bosses: “We won’t risk health of our people”

"We will never ask our people to put their health at risk in the name of work"
3 days ago

“Turn up on site or else” – majors turn screw on subcontractors

Specialists threatened with LAD claims as Tier Ones "bully" supply chain
3 days ago

Coronavirus crisis brings out best and worst of construction

Most contractors are doing their best in a crisis - while others are letting the industry down
3 days ago

BAM Contruct pauses work on all sites

BAM Nuttall civils sites still open, as building arm pauses for safety procedure review
4 days ago

Highways England orders majors to pay supply chain

Payments speeded up to Tier Ones who are told not to hoard cash
4 days ago

Coronavirus update for construction: Thursday 26

The latest advice and information from industry trade bodies
3 days ago

JCB extends factory shutdown until May

JCB directors forgo salaries in C-19 crisis
4 days ago

McAlpine latest contractor to close its sites

Contracts included refurbishment of Buckingham Palace
4 days ago

Costain Chief Operating Officer joins Keltbray

Darren James joins specialist after 30 years at Costain
4 days ago

Keep two metres apart and you can carry on building

Government says sites can still operate as long as social distancing observed
4 days ago

Morgan Sindall cancels dividend

Contractor supplements £132m daily net cash with draw down of £180m bank facility
4 days ago

Big names start to shut sites

Mace and Multiplex shut all sites as ISG closes jobs which "cannot meet an enhanced risk profile test"
5 days ago

Michelmersh suspends brick deliveries

Brickmaker suspends production as industry shutdown widens
4 days ago

Coronavirus update for construction: Wednesday 25

The latest advice and information from industry trade bodies
4 days ago

Crossrail sites ordered to shut down

TfL tells contractors to bring sites to a safe stop as soon as possible
5 days ago

Murphy sole UK firm chasing £1.7bn Stonehenge tunnel

Trio shortlisted for A303 Amesbury to Berwick Down scheme
4 days ago

Race starts for £2.1bn Constructing West Midlands 2 deal

Balfour, Bouygues and Willmott Dixon in fight to retain places
4 days ago

Runaway cement wagon breaks out of Hanson works

Investigation launched after wagon careers for over 1km across two level crossings
4 days ago

Contractor services