A company has been fined nearly £35,000 after a trainee scaffolder was seriously injured by falling through a fragile asbestos roof in a “foreseeable and avoidable” accident.
The victim had worked for Acorn Scaffolding (Yorkshire) Ltd for less than three weeks when he plunged about 13 feet through a roof onto a concrete floor at Lockington Grange Farm, East Riding.
All the bones in his left wrist were broken, and he also suffered crushed nerves in his left wrist, a broken right wrist, a broken nose, a sprained left ankle and shoulder, as well as grazes, cuts and “bruises all over his body”, Hull Crown Court heard.
Three wires had to inserted into his left wrist to hold it together, and he developed carpal tunnel syndrome. A judge said he was fortunate not to have been more badly hurt.
The company, of Moxon Lane, Moor Lane Trading Estate, Sherburn-in-Elmet, Leeds, admitted failing to ensure the safety of an employee. Although it took five years for the criminal case to be concluded in a sentencing hearing on Thursday, the firm settled a personal injury claim made by the employee in October 2014.
Lee Fish, prosecuting on behalf of the Health and Safety Executive, said the man, as an untrained scaffolder, should not even have been on the asbestos roof, was not wearing a harness, and no safety measures such as a safety net or “crash deck” had been fitted. Nor, it appeared, had any of the Acorn employees been trained on how to work on fragile roofs.