Firm fined for Birstall worker’s six-foot fall through roof

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A BUILDING contractor must pay more than half a million pounds after a worker fell through a roof and died from infection caused by his injuries.

Thomas Whitmarsh, from Birstall, was working for Watkin Jones and Son at a shopping centre in Bangor, Wales, when he fell six metres through an unguarded opening onto the floor below.

The 21-year-old sustained serious head injuries and spent several months in hospital.

Mr Whitmarsh started to recover back at his home, but his injuries led to infections and he died in December 2009 of acute meningitis.

Mold Crown Court heard on Thursday there was more than an 80 per cent chance that the injuries from the fall contributed to his death.

The Health and Safety Executive prosecuted Watkin Jones and Son Limited for failing to ensure Mr Whitmarsh’s safety while at work and fined it £450,000. The firm must also pay £98,000 in costs.

For more on this story see next week’s Batley and Birstall News, out on Thursday.