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  3. Dairy firm fined following fall from roof panel

Manchester Crown Court recently fined a dairy company £400,000 following an incident involving a fragile roof.

A worker at Muller UK and Ireland Group LLP, suffered major injuries to his body and head after falling through a roof panel and plummeting 15 feet to the floor. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) conducted an investigation following the incident, which took place in 2015.

On the July 8 that year, a routine task was being carried out by the worker, along with two others. The refrigeration gas had to be changed in the storage units, located at the company premises at Trafford Park. The workers were on the roof void, above the units. A worker stood at the roof space edge, on a panel that fell, dropping between the shell of the building and the chilled unit.

According to the HSE investigation, the company had not provided any information about the roof panels being fragile, despite the fact that work had been done there several times. No risk assessment had been carried out prior to the work being done, and the firm had failed to identify that the roof panels were fragile. Warning signs and other indicators should have been put in place to avoid the workers being placed at risk.

Jane Carroll, the HSE investigator, said:

“This case highlights how important it is that a suitable risk assessment is undertaken for all work at height and work within roof voids, to identify the potential for fragile panels to be present.”

The use of PPE and safety workwear is often implemented into a company's health and safety practices.

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