A WORKER suffered life-changing injuries, including an open fracture to his femur and multiple fractures to his pelvis and hips, when he fell from a factory roof.

Brian Robinson, from Coundon, near Bishop Auckland, fell through a roof light onto the factory floor below.

The industrial roofer had been attaching cladding to an adjoining building when he fell 9.7 metres.

Two companies, including one based in Toronto, near Bishop Auckland, have this week been fined a total of £310,000 for their part in the “wholly avoidable” incident, in January 2016.

Mr Robinson, 38, who was working on the Weiser Construction site at the John Cotton factory in Mirfield, West Yorkshire, struck a storage case with the top of his legs as he fell.

No safety nets had been scheduled to be used in the area of the factory and, after striking the storage unit, Mr Robinson fell to the ground behind it.

He was taken by ambulance to a trauma unit in Leeds where he underwent operations to insert six pins into his pelvis, two pins to the top of his femur and two pins to the bottom.

Mr Robinson, a father-of-three, is still unable to work, more than three years after the incident.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the original scaffold that had been constructed on the roof had been removed prior to cladding works being completed.

Spandeck boards with guardrails were the preferred control measure, but use of the boards meant that workers could not affix the handrails in situ.

Weiser Construction Ltd, now in liquidation, of Clark Business Recovery Ltd, York Place, Leeds pleaded guilty to breaching Section three of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and has been fined £145,000 with £5,046.30 costs.

During the hearing at Leeds Magistrates' Court, Complete Cladding Systems Ltd (CCS) of Newton Cap House, Toronto, Bishop Auckland, admitted the same offence and has been fined £165,000 with £5,114.49 costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Paul Thompson said that CCS failed to ensure suitable safety measures were in place.

He said: “Work at height, such as roof work, is a high-risk activity that accounts for a high proportion of workplace serious injuries and fatalities each year.

“This was a wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the principal contractor to manage and monitor the works to ensure the correct work equipment was being used.

“This risk was further amplified by the cladding company’s failure to ensure suitable measures were in place to prevent persons falling a distance liable to cause personal injury.”