Firm Fined After Man Falls Through Skylight

21 March 2011, 16:58 | Updated: 21 March 2011, 17:01

An engineering manager was seriously injured after plunging through a factory skylight at a Milton Keynes plastics manufacturer, a court heard.

Barry Brice, 44, of Wavendon Gate in the town was measuring a damaged skylight at Alpla UK Ltd’s premises in Lasborough Road, Kingston, when it gave way and he fell seven and a half metres onto the floor of a tool room below.

The incident happened on 16 November 2009 when Mr Brice climbed onto the roof alone to take measurements of the skylight, which had been damaged in an earlier incident.

As he leaned forward onto the skylight it shattered and Mr Brice fell through the panel almost 25 feet to the floor below. He suffered a fractured wrist and finger, broken ribs, cuts and bruising and was off work for nine weeks.

Alpla Ltd, of Bridge Street, Golborne, Warrington pleaded guilty to regulation 4(1) and 9(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 at Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court.

The company was fined £3,200 and ordered to pay £4,145 in costs in the case brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

HSE Inspector, Karl Howes, said:

“Mr Brice was incredibly lucky in this case he was able to walk away from this when so often, falls from this sort of height are fatal.

“This incident was entirely preventable and demonstrates how little control there was at the Alpla site. Mr Brice should never have been allowed alone onto in an area with fragile rooflights.

“Falls through roofs during maintenance tasks are a well-known risk and this case highlights the need for employers to consider the risks associated with this practice and have proper systems in place to control the risks.”