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Council fined after roof fall

A local authority has been fined after a worker was seriously injured when he fell through a garage roof light at a council depot.

Douglas McGregor was working on the removal and replacement of a roof light when he lost his balance.

Elgin Sheriff Court heard that he was one of two workers who had gained access to the roof using a ladder. They were standing on scaffolding batons placed onto cement sheets on either side of the roof light, but the one under Mr McGregor slipped, causing him to lose his balance.

He fell nearly three metres head first through the roof light and landed on the concrete floor below. He suffered serious injuries to the right side of his body including a broken pelvis, collar bone and numerous ribs. He also suffered a serious blow to the head.

He had to use a wheelchair for eight weeks, then a walking frame and was unable to drive for three months. He was off work until the end of November 2011, but has since made a reasonably full recovery.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive revealed that the garage roof light was fragile and unable to safely support the weight of someone standing or walking on it. The work was undertaken in an unsafe manner and insufficient safety measures had been taken to prevent a fall through or from the roof.

The investigation also found that no information or supervision had been provided to ensure the workers would be carrying out the work safely.

Moray Council was fined £4,000 after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

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