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SAFETY ENGINEER DIED IN ROOFLIGHT FALL

Inquest told that safety engineer fell 12m through rooflight

An inquest jury has heard how Paul Voller died after falling through a fragile rooflight at a B&Q store Bradford in May 2007. 

He was inspecting a fall arrest system on the roof at the time of his death. The jury heard that Mr Voller was wearing a safety harness but was not attached to a fixed point or line.

Aidan Wright of B&Q said: “I got a call over my radio saying someone had fallen through the roof. I picked up the First Aid kit and ran to the scene. When I got there, I saw Paul on the floor. I was shocked. I checked airways and his pulse and there wasn’t any.”

The inquest heard evidence concerning the training and experience of Mr Voller and the adequacy of arrangements for securing his safety whilst working on the roof. The the method statement and risk assessment produced for the work were also subject to legal argument.

The jury verdict is awaited.

Comment: This death illustrates how avoiding the risk of falling through fragile roofs e.g. provision of non-fragile or protected rooflights, is the first choice before placing reliance on fall arrest where both those using and inspecting the system can be at risk.

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