An East-Lothian resident has been left paralysed following a workplace accident which was deemed "entirely avoidable" by an inspector of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
The former employee suffered serious injury when he fell through a weak panel while replacing plastic rooflights on a farm property in Lauder, Scottish Borders.
David Miller Contracts Ltd, the company which hired the then 69-year-old to conduct repairs to the roof, has now been fined £50,000 following an investigation by the HSE.
The man, who had not received any formal training in roof repair work, removed three rooflight panels before taking a break on 14 March 2013. When he returned to continue the work the accident occurred.
He was airlifted to hospital with a punctured lung, broken sternum, broken ribs and multiple breaks to the spine after falling nearly four metres to the ground.
The severe spinal injury he sustained has left the man, now in his 70s, confined to a wheelchair.
Further damage to chest muscles caused partial paralysis and has reduced his lung function to 50 per cent less than it had been prior to the accident.
Jedburgh Sheriff Court ordered David Miller Contracts Ltd to pay the fine of £50,000 on 23 January 2014 after it pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 4 of the Work at Heights Regulations 2005.
Commenting on the case, HSE inspector Ritchie McCrae said, "The dangers of fragile roofs are well known and consideration should have been given to using a platform underneath the rooflights or installing safety nets. The system of work planned by the company was unsafe, resulting in terrible life-changing injuries".
The report does not state if the man and his family are making a claim for personal injury compensation.