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    FRAGILE ROOFLIGHTS CONTINUE TO CLAIM INJURY TOLL

    Roofing contractor fined after workman seriously injured in 7m plus fall

    Associated Roofing & Maintenance Limited has been prosecuted after workman, Mike Preddy aged 37, fell through a fragile rooflight whilst carrying out repairs to an asbestos cement roof.

    The incident occurred at a commercial property on Avonside Industrial Estate in Bristol where he fell 7.5m sustaining multiple fractures to his back, arms, legs and ribs.

    Fragile material should have been protected

    HSE which found that the company of Venture Way, Priorswood, Taunton, had failed to provide sufficient protective measures to stop him from falling through the roof light. The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 9(2) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, and was fined £4,500 and ordered to pay costs of £2,482.

    After the hearing HSE inspector Steve Frain commented:

    “Work at height carries a risk of serious injury and even death and it is the duty holder’s responsibility to ensure workers are protected from falling.

    Associated Roofing & Maintenance Limited should have ensured they had protected any fragile material while work was being carried out on the roof, which would have significantly reduced the risk of this serious incident from happening.”

    Comment

    The low fine in this case probably reflects the financial circumstances of the defendant. Genuine and justified lack of awareness of the hazard and required precautions is unlikely.

    Systems are now available to enable roof lights and fibre cement roof sheets to be replaced by MEWP from below the roof. This approach could make a major contribution towards preventing the 7-10 fatal falls and many other disabling injuries that are caused by falls through fragile surfaces each year.

    If work is carried out beneath a roof the hazard of falling through the roof has been eliminated!

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