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FRAGILE ROOF DEATHS CONTINUE

Construction worker dies after falling through fragile roof

It has been reported that yet another workman has fallen through a fragile roof. The man died when he fell through the roof of commercial premises in Bury.

The Police spokesman said: “Shortly before 8pm on Thursday November 19th police were called to Furniture Arena, Foundry Street, Bury, following reports of a work accident. Officers found a 61-year-old man had died.”

HSE has been informed and a joint investigation is taking place into the circumstances surrounding the man’s death.”

Comment: We are aware of 19 fatal falls in construction since 1 April 2009. Falling through fragile roofs account for 7 (37%) of those deaths. All the deaths occurred during refurbishment of existing commercial properties rather than new build.

The HSE guidance on safety in roofwork is now available free to download. However, many of the fragile roof deaths over the last 10 years will have involved companies and the self-employed on the margins of mainstream construction.

Most fragile roofs on commercial premises are owned/leased/managed by a corporate body with client duties under CDM 2007. Engaging the full publicity and enforcement machine of HSE and Local Authority regulators towards such clients may be a more effective way of getting the message home.

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