Roofer fell 11 ft on first day at work, leaving him seriously injured and 3cm shorter

Gavel and scales

Gavel and scales

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A MAN’S first day in a new job ended up with him losing 3cm (an inch) in height for the rest of his life, a court heard.

A MAN’S first day in a new job ended up with him losing 3cm (an inch) in height for the rest of his life, a court heard.

Paul Rawlinson was not given any training as a roofer when he was told to go onto a farm building and start dismantling its roof, Blackpool magistrates were told.

But the 29-year-old moved off a plant meant to take his weight and fell through the roof panel 11ft to the ground.

He suffered for three fractured ribs, three broken vertebrae in his back and other injuries. Magistrates heard how Mr Rawlinson, from Over Wyre, has to wear a spinal brace and was unlikely to work again for at least five years. The court heard that Mr Rawlinson is taking civil proceedings against the man who hired him to work at Hoskinshire Farm, Out Rawcliffe, where the farmer wanted the building demolishing and another built in its place.

He hired builder James Brown, 43, of Horse Park Lane, Pilling, to do the job. Despite having a safety plan drawn up, Brown did not use the proper equipment such as a cherry picker with a basket or safety netting.

Brown admitted two offences under Health and Safety regulations – failing to properly plan for the safety aspects of working at height and failing to take proper measures to prevent someone falling.

He was fined £9,735, ordered to pay £3,788 court costs and £120 victim’s surcharge. The court heard that Mr Rawlinson had not been given any safety training prior to starting work on August 5 last year.

Netting had been supplied to the site but was not erected and a result of the compression injuries Mr Rawlinson lost 3cm in height for the rest of his life.

Magistrates were told that one of the reasons why safety rules were not followed was Mr Brown’s wish to save money on the contract.

Brown had been in the same business for 25 years and had never been involved in any other industrial accident. The court heard he did not use the netting because the timbers in the building were rotten and he did not use a hydraulic lift because there were metal props in the way shoring up timbers.