Reminder That Falling From Heights Is Biggest Killer In Construction
Peter Bettison 54 has filed a lawsuit against his employer Duncan Plumbing Heating and Electrics after they failed to act upon safety information given to them. He fell 7m whilst installing solar power panels and was forced to remain under sedation for 22 days whilst in hospital. He suffered multiple injuries and experts say he is lucky to be alive.
Falling from heights is statistically the biggest killer in construction. Bettison’s injuries meant he could not return to work for eight months and even then he was unable to resume his previous position.
The father of two and grandfather of five said that he was no longer able to drive long distances and that it would be about an hour before he started to get pains in his left should and pelvis. He said he often became dizzy and sometimes had to lie down and that the incident had affected his entire family.
The accident was caused by stepping on unprotected rooflights which gave way causing Bettison to fall on the conrete floor below. HSE investigators claimed that two site surveys had identified rooflights and uploaded the information onto a computer system for the design team. However the firm failed to take action despite the warning and failed to protect their employee from falling. There was also a sign on the side of the barn that was dismissed stating that the roof was fragile.
The company have been fined £20000 and ordered to pay £3408 after admitting their failure to comply with Health and Safety At Work regulations.
HSE inspector Sarah Lee said that Bettison could have easily been killed if not for the hay bales that interrupted his fall. She continued that they probably saved his life and the company’s overall system was unsafe. Not only did they fail to recognise or properly identify dangers employees could face but they had the information they needed to stop an accident like this from happening because they ignored it. The risks of falling from a height are well-known in this industry and she claims that the company definitely could have taken precautionary actions to avoid the incident.
Accidents at work are extremely common and anyone who has suffered a personal injury at the hands of someone else’s negligence should come forward to discuss a claim. Employers are urged to follow Health and Safety regulations to prevent injuries and lawsuits.