April 26th, 2011 | Published in News
A plumber from Warrington narrowly avoided paralysis or even death after a serious accident at work, it has emerged.
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), a 64-year-old, who has asked not to be named, fell through a fragile tile on a suspended ceiling tile in a workshop in Woolston, while installing a hot water heater near the edge of a boarded area of the roof.
He landed on his neck, sustaining injuries to his neck and head and requiring a neck brace for a total of 12 weeks.
The incident took place in August 2008 but occupiers of the site Dowding and Mills UK Ltd and the worker’s employer Mike Wilde were recently prosecuted by the HSE and fined.
The organisation found that a plumber had fallen through a ceiling tile in the same premises in 2006, but avoided injury by grabbing on to the ceiling boards.
Commenting on the news, HSE inspector Martin Heywood said: “It’s disappointing this work was allowed to go ahead without suitable planning for working at height.”
“Dowding and Mills ignored its own procedures for checking the methods contractors intended to use when undertaking work. Mike Wilde should have made sure a safety barrier was erected or instructed the worker to wear a harness.”
According to statistics from the HSE, 12 people died after falling from height at work in 2010, while over 4,000 employees suffered major injuries after a similar accident at work.