Scaffolding firm fined £100,000 after failing to protect tragic Leigh dad who fell to his death

By Ben Southworth

A scaffolding firm has been ordered to pay more than £100,000 after an employee tragically plummeted 13 metres to his death through the roof of a Skelmersdale warehouse.

Married dad Tony Causby, 42, from Leigh, was dismantling scaffolding for Atherton-based construction company S&S Scaffolding when he stepped onto a fragile skylight and fell to the floor below.

Mr Causby was pronounced dead upon arriving at hospital on December 14 2010.

His partner, Debra Wyley, 44, said: “It is difficult to put into words how Tony’s death has affected our lives.

“I started having panic attacks and wouldn’t go out because I felt people were looking at me because of what had happened.

“I miss Tony so much. I feel our son is missing out on so many things that his dad would have done with him, like football, rugby and taking him swimming.”

S&S Scaffolding were found to be guilty of serious safety breaches by the Health and Safety Executive during an investigation into Mr Causby’s untimely death.

The company pleaded guilty to single breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that there were around 80 fragile skylights on one half of the roof, each covering approximately one metre by two metres.

However, the company failed to arrange for covers to be put on the skylights nearest to where its employees were working to prevent them falling through.

Speaking after the hearing, Health and Safety Executive Inspector Jacqueline Western said: “Mr Causby died because, despite being a specialist scaffolding firm and being fully aware of the dangers of falls, S&S Scaffolding didn’t do enough to protect him from the risks of working at height.

“It would have been relatively easy to cover the fragile skylights near to where the employees were working to prevent anyone from falling through if they accidently stepped on one.

“Sadly, safety precautions were not taken by S&S Scaffolding and Mr Causby lost his life as a result.”

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