Transport firm PK & IF Cobley was responsible for serious safety failings that resulted in its worker Andrew Bannister plunging 10m from a roof onto a concrete floor.
During a prosecution at Leicester Crown Court – brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) – the judge said it was “a miracle he was not killed”.
Despite his concern about being sent up onto a fragile roof to repair cracks, Bannister, who had worked for firm for 15 years, was instructed to complete the task at Misterton Farm, Great Poultney, Leicestershire.
A broken neck
While repairing the roof on August 31 – without any means to prevent his fall from the roof edge or through the roof – Bannister fell about 10m through the roof, landing on a concrete floor. His injuries, included: a broken neck, back and three broken ribs.
Speaking after the hearing, the HSE inspector Alison Cook said: “The risk of falls through fragile roofs is well-known and the precautions required are simple and effective.”
The sentence will serve as a warning to firms that knowingly risking employees’ lives at work will not be tolerated, added Cook, who investigated and prosecuted the case.
PK & IF Cobley Limited, of Broughton Astley, Leicestershire, was found guilty of breaching regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The firm was fined £75,000 and ordered to pay £29,351.88 in costs.
The injured worker said: “After the accident I had to use a walking stick permanently. I will be on pain killers for the rest of my life. The injury has changed my life completely.”
Meanwhile, the privately owned family-run business employs more than 100 people and operates a fleet of over 75 vehicles.
Fleet vehicles included: Courier vans, Transit vans, 7.5t and 17t lorries to 44t articulated vehicles.
The damage done
“After the accident I had to use a walking stick permanently. I will be on pain killers for the rest of my life. The injury has changed my life completely.”
- Andrew Bannister