South West Wales

Company fined £8,000 after worker's fall from roof

A construction company has been fined £8,000 after a worker was seriously injured when he fell from a building's roof.

Gwyndaf Davies, from Carmarthen, was helping re-roof a farm building in Pembrokeshire when he fell three metres onto a concrete floor.

He suffered multiple spine and facial fractures, a brain injury and was in hospital for nine months.

Delme L James Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive.

At Haverfordwest magistrates court, the company, of Cynwyl Elfed, Carmarthenshire, admitted breaching work at height regulations and also had to pay costs of £2,189.

Mr Davies, who was 21 at the time, needed facial reconstructive surgery and eye surgery at Morriston hospital in Swansea.

He has been left blind in one eye and partially-sighted in the other following the incident in April 2009 at Penwerddu Farm, Boncath.

The Health and Safety Executive said Mr Davies had limited speech, could not walk without aid and still needed physiotherapy and speech therapy. He is likely to require significant care for the rest of his life.

He had worked for the company since leaving school.

The HSE investigation found the company did not plan, supervise or carry out the work safely.

There was only limited edge protection to prevent workers falling from the roof and no measures to prevent them falling into the building.

HSE inspector Anne Marie Orrells said: "Mr Davies is a young man who has suffered dreadful injuries as a result of this accident which could have resulted in his death.

"This situation could so easily have been prevented and Mr Davies and his family are still trying to come to terms with the lasting effects of what has happened.

"Falls from height are one of the major causes of death and serious injury in the construction industry.

"The regulations are clear and well established but HSE continues to see tragic cases such as this resulting from employers not fulfilling their duty to protect workers.

"There is a great deal of guidance freely available on the HSE website, so there is no excuse for getting it wrong - especially given the severity of the consequences."

HSE figures showed seven workers died in the workplace in Wales between April 2009 and March 2010.

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