A fifty-one year old labourer from Liverpool was left paralysed from the waist down and later died of injury-related illness after falling from four-inch wide beams where he was working. The manager of the site had failed to provide safety measures to prevent falls and protect the safety of those working for him.
He was also found to have failed in his legal duty to report the incident to The Health and Safety Executive. The law stipulates that if you are an employer or in charge of a site, then you must report any work–related deaths, injury, disease or near-misses.
The investigation into the incident found that all those working on the roof beams had been exposed to a significant risk of injury from falling, and that a previous incident had seen a bricklayer fall from scaffolding. He sustained minor injuries and then refused to continue working on the site.
The construction industry presents risks to safety that must be analysed and managed in the correct way if accidents are to be avoided. In this case, netting or scaffolding would certainly have prevented this needless loss of life. Workers and managers must undertake the appropriate health and safety training in order to protect them.