April 20, 2024
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By Jamie Lopez

After falling from 10m on an unsafe roof, a construction worker was in intensive care for weeks and in a wheel chair for months.

Craig Dickson was left fighting for his own life after an accident that caused him to break bones in his hands, wrists and face. He also lost four teeth and suffered severe damage to his knee. He is still in constant pain, has no sense of odor and cannot work.

Carlisle, in March 2022 when he plummeted from a fragile roof onto a concrete floor. After admitting to health and safety violations, his former employer, CK Steelwork & Cladding Ltd., was ordered by the court to pay fines and other costs of more than PS20,000.

A Health and Safety Executive investigation found that the roof had been known to be fragile and safety nets below the area of work were in place at the time. This work was not completed, and a supervisor took Mr Dickson onto the roof to inspect the job.

He fell 10m head first onto concrete below after stepping on a skylight that failed. The man spent five months in a wheelchair and six weeks at the intensive care unit.

He has been in constant pain since the accident, and he is still not able to work 17 months after. His former career will be impossible for him to resume. In his victim impact statement Mr Dickson stated: “The injury broke all of my facial bones and took out four front teeth.” It has left me with zero self-confidence and major anxiety. I have to visit a psychiatrist every week for this.

My nose is badly damaged, so I’ve lost my sense of smell and have trouble breathing. Prior to my accident, I was very active physically and mentally. I attended the gym every day and enjoyed socialising. “I am in extreme pain, and have developed anxiety. I find myself always worried and it is difficult to perform the same tasks as before.

HSE determined that CK Steelwork & Cladding Ltd, of Barras Lane Estate in Dalston, Carlisle had not taken the necessary precautions to protect workers working on roofs. The company admitted to violating Regulation 4(1) of Work at Height Regulations, 2005.

Michael Griffiths, an HSE inspector, said after the hearing: “This is a serious incident and Craig was lucky not to have been killed.” It is important to plan and control work on roofs that are fragile. Otherwise, there’s a high risk of an accident, which could be fatal, or an injury that can change your life, like we saw in this case.

Jonathan Bambro, Rebecca Forman and the Legal Services Division of HSE supported this prosecution.

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