A TOP business faces a £20,000 bill after one of its workers fell through a roof.
Brighouse firm Ploughcroft Building Services were taken to court after 24-year-old Chris Buck was injured when he fell through the roof at a Stockport school.
The Brighouse man fell 2.6 metres to the concrete floor below and suffered injuries to his back and neck.
He has been unable to return to work since the accident.
Ploughcroft, based on Thornhills Beck Lane, was prosecuted for safety failings by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following the incident at Reddish Vale Technology College last June.
And they were left with a massive bill after facing Trafford Magistrates’ Court yesterday, who were told that 24-year-old Mr Buck was helping to make the roof waterproof when he tripped on some cables and fell through a fragile skylight.
The court was told that the company had failed to provide a cover or barrier for the skylight, despite being told to do so in a report by a health and safety consultant less than six weeks earlier.
Ploughcroft admitted breaching the Work at Height Regulations by failing to prevent the worker falling through the skylight.
They were fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £10,937 in prosecution costs.
Mr Buck said afterwards: “I had a very lucky escape and I don’t like to think about what might have happened.
“I could have quite easily have landed on my head or on children below which could have led to serious injuries.
“There is a very clear message that needs to go out to businesses that they cannot afford to ignore health and safety issues, or they will have serious consequences and impact on the reputation of businesses.
“Due to the accident I now have to consider other careers. My confidence to do this job again is not there any more and I feel I would be frightened and scared to get on a roof or even climb a ladder.”
Last year, more than 4,000 employees suffered a major injury as a result of a fall from height at work and 12 were killed.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Sandra Tomlinson said: “This incident could easily have resulted in one of Ploughcroft’s employees being paralysed or even killed.
“Despite surviving, the injuries he’s suffered mean he has lost the confidence to be able to return to work as a roofer.
“There were children walking under the skylight just minutes before he fell through it, so other individuals were also put at risk by Ploughcroft’s actions.”