Cleeve native Richard Cooke had been helping to dismantle Manor Farm’s cow shed roof at the time of the incident. While he was on the premises of the farm, located in Corston near Bath, Mr Cooke tumbled to the concrete floor directly underneath the metal roof after the sheeting gave way under his weight.
As a result of the accident claim Mr Cooke sustained serious injuries to his head and spine. The construction worker now cannot move about without the aid of a wheelchair, as the accident left him with incomplete paraplegia.
In the wake of the incident the Health and Safety Executive conducted an investigation of the work site. An HSE inspector discovered that both Mr Cooke and a fellow construction worker were working at height without any safety equipment designed to prevent injury in the event of a fall.
At the time of the incident Mr Cooke had been sub-contracted to Clive Pearce (trading as CW Pearce of Martock). Mr Pearce in turn was cub-contracted to construction firm DB Gibbons Ltd, located in Bristol. Both companies entered pleas of guilty for breaching Health and Safety Regulations. As a result DB Gibbons was fined £14,000 and CW Pearce was fined £12,000. Combined legal costs of £4,000 were also paid by the two firms.
In related news statistics reveal that more than 4,000 UK workers sustained serious injuries at work where falls from height were the cause in 2010. Many such workers have gone on to file successful personal injury claims against their employers.