Published: 16:00, 16 July 2014
A roofer in his 70s fell through the roof of a building on the Westwood Industrial Estate in Margate.
Self-employed handyman Cliff Veal plunged 30ft from the roof of Hellings Fabrications on the Westwood Industrial Estate and suffered injuries to his chest and pelvis.
The air ambulance landed at 1.23pm in a nearby field and the man was treated at the scene by crews before being transferred to King’s College Hospital in London.
Hellings Fabrications’ managing director Graham Hellings said staff shocked after the incident and would be fully co-operating with an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive.
The family-owned architectural metal work firm moved to their premises on the industrial estate in 1990, but the firm has been established since 1982.
Mr Hellings said: "He [Cliff] has been employed around the estate for years and knows his way around all the roofs.
“My son Daniel was in the office when he saw him fall and called for the ambulance immediately.
“Luckily his [Cliff’s] fall was broken as he fell on a large piece of wood that was on supports, which then collapsed down, breaking the impact.”
“Luckily his [Cliff’s] fall was broken as he fell on a large piece of wood that was on supports, which then collapsed down, breaking the impact" - Graham Hellings
The wood was brass-coated and was designed to be a feature in a bar, but the roofer landed on the malleable wooden side of the structure, saving him from more serious injury.
It was the first time that Mr Veal had worked for Hellings Fabrications.
Mr Hellings had been in London when the incident occurred but said that his 10-strong workforce were still in shock about what had happened.
He said: “We have two young apprentices and we keep asking them and all the staff if they are OK.
“You just don’t expect anything like this to happen and it will be difficult to recover from it.”
He added that the hospital had informed the firm that Mr Veal had broken his pelvis, ribs and small bones in his spine.
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