Leeds worker had to be sedated for weeks after roof fall

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A 54-year-old Leeds worker suffered life-changing injuries when he plunged nearly seven metres through an unsafe rooflight while installing solar power racking.

Peter Bettison, from Crossgates, sustained multiple injuries in the accident in November 2011 and needed to be under sedation for most of the 22 days he had to spend in hospital.

Bradford Magistrates’ Court heard Mr Bettison sustained a punctured lung and fractured skull, a head wound needing 13 staples, a broken collar bone, broken ribs along his left side, a fracture to his left hand, a broken left pelvis and chipped bones in his spine and hip.

In an investigation the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Mr Bettison’s employer, Duncan Plumbing, Heating and Electrics Ltd, of York, had carried out two surveys of the site in Ilkley before the work and identified the presence of rooflights but then failed to take any action to protect the workers. HSE said a sign on the side of the barn warning of a fragile roof was also apparently disregarded.

The company was fined £20,000 - and ordered to pay £3,408 after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

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