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Roof fall man speaks out

A young man who suffered 16 skull fractures when he fell from a roof at work in Carlisle has welcomed the prosecution of his employers by the Health & Safety Executive.

Alan Hind (28) who lives in Corrie Common near Lockerbie was working for Robert and Eric Murray on 27th February 2008 when he fell 25 feet through a roof whilst dismantling a building at Watts Yard, off London Road in the city.

The Murrays were today found guilty of Health & Safety offences and will be sentenced on 19th July.

As well as extensive skull fractures, Alan also broke his jaw into three pieces, fractured his wrist, damaged a kidney and is now deaf in his right ear and blind in his left eye. Parts of his brain were so damaged, they had to be removed.

After an initial stay in hospital Alan had to wait a further six months before a titanium plate could be inserted to replace his damaged skull. He said, “That was a frightening time. There was nothing to protect my brain – just skin. I was worried to go out. I didn’t like to be around lots of people in case I bumped my head.”

Unable to work since his accident, Alan welcomed the verdict but warned other young workers. “If it’s not safe, it’s not worth it.”  

Alan’s solicitor is Nick Gutteridge from Burnetts in Carlisle and Newcastle. He said, “We are pleased to see the Murrays held to account, but the tragedy is that this accident could have been avoided. Alan has been permanently disabled by his head injury: as well as the physical damage to his hearing and sight, he also suffers pain, flash backs, memory loss and some personality changes. It has been devastating for him.”

Alan and his family are particularly grateful for the support of Headway, the brain injury charity.

According to the HSE, falls from height remain the most common kind of workplace fatality.

Published: Thursday 24th June 2010
Categorised: Medical Negligence

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