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    FALL THROUGH FRAGILE ROOF DURING OVER-ROOFING PROJECT

    Contractor failed to properly plan and supervise high risk roofwork

    Mechanical Solutions Ltd of Nottinghamshire has been fined after a contractor suffered serious back injuries when he fell 6m through a fragile roof of an industrial building at Somercotes, Derbyshire on his first day on site.

    Roofworker Michael Hawkins, aged 23, of Rotherham underwent six operations to his back and has been unable to return to work since the incident in June 2009. Mr Hawkins said:

    “I have suffered serious injuries, numerous surgical procedures and permanent scarring as a direct result of the company’s failure to ensure that the task could be carried out safely. I would not want anyone else to go through what I’ve been through.”

    Mechanical Solutions Ltd, was engaged by the owner of the building to cover the asbestos cement roof with steel cladding. Derby magistrates heard that the company failed to ensure the work was properly planned, supervised and carried out in a safe manner. Key aspects were:

    • failure to identify the fragility of various parts of the roof;
    • no provision for fall arrest in areas where method statement required use;
    • rooflights and openings not protected as required by the method statement
    • guard rails for access boards missing or incomplete; and
    • no safety protection underneath the roof.

    A Prohibition Notice was served after the incident preventing a return to work on or near the fragile roof until a safe system was in place to prevent another fall.

    Defendant fell far short of the expected standard

    Mechanical Solutions Ltd, of Acorn Business Park, Commercial Gate, Mansfield, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £5,366.

    Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Carol Southerd said:

    “This was not an isolated lapse. Work had been taking place on the roof for weeks before the incident happened.

    It is clear Mr Hawkins and other workers were able to enter freely onto an inadequately protected area of a hazardous fragile roof. They were exposed to significant risk of serious or fatal injury.

    “The company fell far short of the expected standard in the system of work. There was inadequate risk assessment, instruction and supervision.”

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    One Response to “FALL THROUGH FRAGILE ROOF DURING OVER-ROOFING PROJECT”

    1. HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 12th OCTOBER 2011 | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

      […] Mechanical Solutions Limited – fall through fragile roof: £10,000. […]