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CLIENT AND CONTRACTOR FINED AFTER FRAGILE FALL

Timber mill client prosecuted with roofing contractor after rooflight fall

A client for construction work, Woodgate Sawmills Limited, has been ordered to pay nearly £28k in fines and prosecution costs after a roofing contractor fell through a rooflight.

The roofing contractor, The Longhope Welding Company (a partnership), was ordered to pay the larger sum of over £41k

The prosecution follows the fall of a roof worker through a fragile rooflight whilst working on the roof of the sawmill building at Mile End, Coleford, Gloucestershire. The roof line of mill was being raised when he fell 5m to the concrete floor below, sustaining life changing head injuries.

Significant failures in system of work revealed

HSE Inspector, Annette Walker, said: “this incident highlights the extremely serious risks posed by working at height if adequate safety protection measures are not in place.

“The investigation revealed significant failures in the safe systems of work for the removal of the roof sheets and also significant failure to control risks of working at height during all of the stages of the sawmill refurbishment” she added that “employees who were at risk, one of whom was only 17 at the time of this incident”.

“The sawmill remained open during all of the works and employees working below were also at risk from persons or objects falling on them. Robert’s fall could easily have proved fatal.”

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