Health and Safety News

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Blacksmith fined after worker falls from roof

A self-employed blacksmith and fabricator has been fined after one of his employees was severely injured after falling more than seven metres from a roof he was working on.

Martin Mundie, 23, from St Fergus, Aberdeenshire, was employed by Joseph Adams and was part of a team carrying out work to convert a former pig shed into a workshop.

On 10 March 2009, Mr Mundie and three other workers climbed a ladder onto the roof to begin replacing the sheets and capping. A short time into the work, there was a loud crack and one of Mr Mundie’s colleagues turned around to see him disappearing through a skylight. He fell approximately eight metres to the concrete floor below.

He sustained a broken arm and wrist, and needed a bone graft as well as two operations to insert three plates and six pins. He was off work for ten months and still has continuing pain in his arm with numbness and limited movement, as well as the scars left by his operations. He no longer works for Joseph Adams.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that at no time before work started, or while it was ongoing, had Joseph Adams assessed any of the risks involved or put a safe system of work in place. HSE inspectors also found that none of the workers had any safety provision while on the roof.

At Banff Sheriff Court today (12 December) Joseph Adams of Backhill Farm, Mintlaw, Aberdeenshire was fined £4500 after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.


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