Builder fractured skull in Sheffield plunge

A builder fractured his skull after plummeting onto the concrete ground while working on a home in Sheffield.

Wednesday, 3rd July 2019, 3:44 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd July 2019, 5:48 pm
The scene of the horrific accident, in which a 34-year-old builder fractured his skull, on Abbeydale Road, in Sheffield

The 34-year-old was working at a property on Abbeydale Road when the horrific accident, which a safety watchdog said could ‘easily have been avoided’, took place.

The self-employed builder was working for and under the control of Clear Property Solutions (SY) Limited at the time, and the company has now been ordered to pay more than £30,000 for breaching safety regulations.

Sheffield Magistrates’ Court heard how he had been installing a flat rubber roof on a dormer extension at the back of the building when the accident happened on April 11 last year.

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He was getting off the roof onto scaffolding using an unsecured folding ladder when the ladder slipped and he fell seven metres to the ground.

He shattered his heels and fractured his skull, resulting in swelling and bleeding on the brain.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found Clear Property Solutions had not completed any risk assessments, method statements or a construction phase plan for the project, and operatives on the site had not been trained in work at height.

The company, based on John Street in Sheffield, admitted contravening the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £30,000 and ordered to pay just over £1,300 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Stuart Whitesmith said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices.

“In this case the builder suffered life-threatening injuries which could have been avoided by installing guardrails around the perimeter of the flat roof, with a gate and secured ladder access.”