Teenager badly hurt in fall from hospital roof

A building firm found itself in court, after a teenage mental health patient broke her back and pelvis in a fall at the Royal Preston Hospital, in Lancashire.

W Hughes and Son Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive, after it was found that the firm had failed to fence off steps leading to the scaffolding tower.

Preston Magistrates Court heard that the contractor had been hired to replace the roof on a single-storey extension.

But there was nothing to stop the 17-year-old, who was being treated in the hospital’s mental health unit, from scaling the scaffolding.

On October 17th 2013, the teenager had climbed the structure and fallen six metres to the ground.  Having landed in a gap between two buildings, emergency services had to remove a window to reach her.

She needed several weeks’ treatment in hospital as a result of injuries sustained in the fall.

W Hughes and Son ltd, pleaded guilty to breaching construction regulations and the firm was fined £10,000.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Chris Smith said: “A vulnerable teenager was badly injured because W Hughes and Son Ltd failed to make sure its scaffolding was properly fenced off.

“Construction firms have a legal duty to make sure construction sites are secure and clearly signed but that didn’t happen in this case. It’s vital that companies think carefully about how they plan projects in public places, such as hospitals, so that members of the public are not put at risk.”

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