An engineer who was seriously injured when he fell through a roof has won more than £164,000 in damages.
The 66-year-old man worked for electronics and electrical engineering company Siemens. He was installing CCTV cameras at Liverpool Lime Street station when the accident happened. In order to complete the job, he needed to access a junction box on the roof of the station, and was given permission by Network Rail to do so via the roof of a shop within the station.
The roof of the shop was merely an aluminium frame, however. It collapsed when the engineer put weight on it and he fell four feet onto a fridge, smashing the ball of his shoulder in three places. He required emergency surgery and was left with permanent disabilities. Because of the pain he suffered, he had to sleep upright for 16 months after the accident. He remains in constant pain and finds everyday tasks difficult to carry out. He has been unable to return to work on account of the severity of his injuries.
The man commenced a personal injury claim. It emerged that there were no signs warning that the roof was fragile and Siemens had not provided him with training on working at height. Siemens admitted liability, but argued that Network Rail was at fault. Eventually, the two firms agreed to settle the claim for over £164,000.
Falls from height are a common cause of injuries in the workplace. In 2008/09, falls from height resulted in 35 fatalities, 4,654 major injuries and a further 7,065 injuries that caused the injured person to be off work for three or more days. The Work at Height Regulations 2005 impose a number of duties on employers, including a duty to ensure that the risks of working on or near fragile surfaces are properly managed. See the HSE website for more information on falls from height in the workplace.