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Timberscombe company in dock after roof fall
2:00pm Monday 29th October 2012 in News
A YOUNG man’s life has been ‘devastated’ after his Timberscombe-based employer failed to ensure his safety.
Wayne Bird, 28, of Okehampton in Devon, was working for A.R. Berry Design and Build Ltd when he plummeted six metres from a roof he was working on in South-West London.
After pleading guilty to breaching health and safety laws at a hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday, the company was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £8,000 in costs.
Mr Bird was cleaning dead leaves from the gulleys of a building in Feltham in January when he crashed through a skylight onto the concrete floor below, suffering fractures and severe tendon damage to his left knee and right arm.
His nose was also broken and he lost several teeth. He is still unable to straighten his right arm or turn his elbow and is receiving on-going medical treatment.
He is also still being treated for the psychological effects of the incident and has been unable to return to work.
The court heard how the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the incident and prosecuted the company after finding it had failed to plan the work properly and did not train employees to work at height.
No edge protection was in place and, although running lines were available on the roof, no harnesses had been attached to them to protect the workers.
HSE inspector Zahir Agha said: “There is no excuse for the safety failings made by A.R. Berry Design and Build. Their neglect of safe working at height has devastated a young man’s life.
“By planning the work properly, giving their workers sufficient training and monitoring activity, this fall could have been prevented.
“A.R.Berry should have ensured staff had the right personal protective equipment and been trained in its use.”
Tony Berry, managing director of A.R. Berry Design and Build Ltd declined to comment.