TWO WORKERS suffered serious injuries when they fell over four metres through a rooflight obscured by moss and dirt, leading to the sentencing of their employing company.
On 13 April 2016 two workers were investigating a roof leak at the Malton site of Karro Foods Ltd. Both workers were unaware that the premises contained several rooflights. Whilst investigating the leak, both workers stood on the same roof light which consequently gave way due to the weight.
One worker suffered four fractured ribs, a punctured lung, and muscular contusions to his outer right thigh. The other suffered a fractured skull, muscular injuries to his right leg and injuries inside his ear which cause ongoing problems with his balance, memory and mental health.
An investigation found that the roof was made of asbestos cement and had several rooflights that were not visible due to the build-up of moss and dirt which had accumulated over the years. Employees had not been made aware of them.
Yorkshire-based Karro Foods Ltd pleased guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was fined £1,866,000, with costs of £8,019.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Mark Slater commented: “This was a wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the company to provide adequate controls against the risks arising from working at height.
“Consideration of roof fragility and rooflights, visible or not, should be made, especially on older buildings.”