A court has handed out £26,000 in fines after a construction worker suffered life-changing injuries following a fall through a building roof.
Richard Cooke, who was 26 at the time of the incident, was dismantling the roof of a cow shed at Manor Farm, Corston near Bath, on 7 July 2008 when he fell 6m through the roof.
Mr Cooke was sub-contracting for Martock-based Clive Pearce - trading as CW Pearce - who was subcontracted to DB Gibbons Ltd of Bristol. He suffered severe spine and head injuries when he landed on a concrete floor after the roof sheeting he was standing on collapsed under his weight.
Bath and Wansdyke Magistrates Court heard that Mr Cooke is now an incomplete paraplegic and requires the use of a wheelchair to move about.
A Health and Safety Executive investigation found there were no safeguards in place to prevent Mr Cooke or his fellow worker falling through the roof, or from the edge of the building and it ruled that the work could have been arranged without the need to go on the roof.
Clive Pearce pleaded guilty to a breaching health and safety regulations and was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay £500 costs.
Bristol-based DB Gibbons Ltd of Western Lane was fined £14,000 with £3,500 costs at the same hearing.
HSE inspector, Annette Walker said: “Mr Cooke is a young man who has suffered dreadful injuries as a result of this incident which could have resulted in his death. He and his family are still coming to terms with the lasting effects of what has happened yet this situation could so easily have been prevented.
“Falls from height are one of the major causes of death and serious injury in the construction industry. The risks of working on or near fragile roofs are well known and the safety measures well established, but HSE continues to see tragic cases such as this where work is not suitably coordinated and planned to reduce risks.”