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The dairy manufacturer Muller UK and Ireland Group LLP has been fined £400,000 and ordered to pay costs of nearly £10,000 after one of its employees fell through a fragile roof.

Manchester Crown Court heard how one of the company’s employees was carrying out a routine job alongside two colleagues; changing the refrigeration gas of the chilled storage units at the company’s premises in Trafford Park, Manchester. While they were working on the roof void of the chilled store building above the chilled units, one of the workers accidently stepped on a fragile fire board panel at the edge of the roof, and fell 15 feet, landing in the void between the chilled units and the outer shell of the building. He was left with severe injuries to his head and body.

When the Health and Safety Executive investigated the incident they found that workers had not been given any instruction or information from the company about the fragile roof panels in the void, even though they had worked there before on numerous occasions. The company had failed to carry out a suitable risk assessment before permitting the workers onto the roof, and the fragile roof panels were neither clearly visible nor suitably signed. In addition there were no barriers present to prevent access to the fragile areas.

Speaking after the hearing HSE Inspector Jane Carroll said: “This case highlights how important it is that a suitable and sufficient risk assessment is undertaken for all work at height and work within roof voids, to identify the potential for fragile panels to be present. Falls from height through fragile roofs remain a common cause of life changing or fatal injuries for individuals at work”.

Muller UK and Ireland Group LLP pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Falls from height are still a common cause of injuries, even though in most cases they should be avoidable. If you, or someone you care for has been injured or even killed due to a fall from height, you might well be entitled to make a claim for compensation. The best way to find out how much you could claim is to contact one of our highly experienced solicitors today. They will listen to your situation and talk you through the best way to go about securing the compensation you deserve. There is no obligation for you continue with a case if you don’t want to, so contact us today free of charge to see how we can help.