Turner Access Higher Safety Total Access
Total Access Ethentic Chipmunk Data
Chipmunk Data Turner Access Ethentic

MAJOR RETAILER FAILED TO CHECK COMPETENCE

Prosecution follows death arising from unsafe roofwork system of work

Comet Group plc has been ordered to pay almost £100k in fines and prosecution costs following the death of a contractor, in June 2007, at the company store in Wrexham, North Wales. 

Paul Alker, aged 33, was working for a roofing contractor and was on the roof when he stepped on a rooflight and fell some 8m to the store floor. Precautions had not been taken to prevent a fall through the rooflight nor was Mr Alker using fall arrest equipment.

He suffered multiple injuries including rib fractures, a broken collar bone and soft tissue injuries which led to a fatal pulmonary embolism.

Comet failed to check competence and system

Following the hearing, HSE inspector Debbie John said: 

“Comet failed to ensure that its contractor had taken steps to prevent falls through the fragile roof lights, ultimately leading to the death of a worker. This incident could have been avoided if the roof lights at the Wrexham store had been protected and Mr Alker had been provided with appropriate safety equipment.

The law is clear: companies must ensure contractors are competent to do the work they are hired to do, and they need to understand their responsibilities. 

A safe system of work must be agreed and the company should monitor contractors to make sure they undertake work safely as agreed. My thoughts are with the family at this difficult time.”

Prison sentence for employer of deceased 

The employer, Steven Christopher Smith, director of Wrexham Roof Services Ltd was jailed for two and a half years in November 2007 in relation to this incident.

He pleaded guilty to gross negligence manslaughter, an offence under the HSW Act 1974 and a further charge of committing acts intending to pervert the course of justice.

See Press Report

Comment

This death occurred before the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Manslaughter Act (CMCH Act 2007) came into force.

Prior to 6 April 2008 a corporate entity could be prosecuted for a wide range of criminal offences, including the common law offence of gross negligence manslaughter. However, in order for the company to be guilty of the offence, it was also necessary for a senior individual who could be said to embody the company (also known as a ‘controlling mind’) to be guilty of the offence.

The CMCH Act 2007 offence created new accoutability for very serious management failings across an organisation. The offence is now considerably wider in scope and now includes liability for organisations which could never previously be prosecuted for manslaughter. 

Corporate clients for construction work are therefore now far more likely to face a manslaughter investigation where contractor is fatally injured.

Latest Construction Health and Safety News

ROPE ACCESS WORKER FELL THROUGH FRAGILE ROOF

Prison sentence imposed on owner of rope access firm

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 24th April 2018

FIRMS FINED £2M OVER FALLING PIPE FATALITY

Incorrect stacking of pipes triggered fall and crushing of workman

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 20th April 2018

DOMESTIC PROJECT PC HANDED JAIL TERM

Workman fell from unprotected roof edge on dormer extension

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 20th April 2018

MAJOR CONTRACTOR ERRED ON FRAGILE ROOF RISK

Firms fine £965,000 after painter fell through waiting room roof

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 19th April 2018

HSE ENFORCEMENT UPDATE 19th APRIL 2018

hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices update and analysis

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 19th April 2018

STRUCTURAL SAFETY BODY LATEST NEWSLETTER

CROSS publishes reports and expert comment on a range of issues

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 18th April 2018

NEW BIM SPEC FOR SHARING H&S INFORMATION

Specification for sharing health and safety info during construction projects

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 17th April 2018

MANAGERS FORGED ASBESTOS DOCUMENTATION

Removal licence obtained using fake training and medical certificates

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 17th April 2018

FINE OVER INCORRECT AND MISLEADING SURVEY

Specialist asbestos company failed to detect AIB on demolition project

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 17th April 2018

IGNORING HSE ADVICE PENALISED BY LARGE FINE

Contractor fined over £50k for persistent WAH and welfare failings

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 17th April 2018

PRISON OVER BASEMENT EXCAVATION AND COLLAPSE

Building contractor jailed after house collapsed in Brighton

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 17th April 2018

DEFEATING POWER INTERLOCK CAUSED FLASHOVER

Systems for managing electrical safety found to be inadequate

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 17th April 2018

LADDER SAFETY FAILURES ATTRACT MASSIVE FINE

National window firm left workers to ‘own devices’

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 12th April 2018

FALLING MATERIAL STRUCK WORKMAN IN EXCAVATION

Risks of working in and near excavations highlighted by incident

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 4th April 2018

HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 4th APRIL 2018

hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices weekly update and analysis

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 4th April 2018

HOUSING ASSOCIATION FAILED ON VIBRATION RISK

Assessment, management and health surveillance all found wanting

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 3rd April 2018

OCCUPIER AND CONTRACTOR FINED OVER FALL

Employee assisting contractor fell through roof during re-roofing project

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 3rd April 2018

HSE FEARFUL OF GROWING ’BLUE TAPE’ BURDEN

hselogo1ISO 45001 could generate fresh business to business demands

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 3rd April 2018

HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 21st MAR 2018

hselogo1Prosecutions and enforcement notices weekly update and analysis

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 28th March 2018

INCIDENTS: PASSER-BY STRUCK BY BRICKS

Pack of bricks appear to have fallen from crane

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 28th March 2018

HSE RECONSIDER HOW TO INFLUENCE SMALLER FIRMS

hselogo1Regulator advice and messages are failing to chime with the SME businesses

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 27th March 2018

DANGEROUS REMOVAL OF ASBESTOS CEMENT

Workers smashed asbestos sheets with crowbars whilst at risk of falling

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 27th March 2018

HSE LAUNCH CONIAN SHARING AND SUPPORT PLATFORM

hselogo1New HSE web community now open to the public

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 27th March 2018

FIRM FAILING ON HAVS SURVEILLANCE FINED £50,000

Door manufacturer failed to manage sanding and buffing tool vibration

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 27th March 2018

PRE-CAST FIRM FINED OVER FINGER AMPUTATION

Lack of guarding and training triggered table saw injury

Read the rest of this article »

Posted on 26th March 2018
Turner Access Chipmunk Data
Total Access Ethentic
Higher Safety Turner Access