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SUSPENDED PRISON SENTENCE FOLLOWS ROOF FALL FATALITY

Contractor failed to provide for the safety of workman who suffered stroke

A roofing contractor from Essex has been given a suspended prison sentence after an incident in which a friend fell through the roof of a domestic garage, later dying of his injuries.

Steve Mason was contracted to replace a double garage flat roof in Stock, near Chelmsford on 24 June 2009. He engaged James Waughman to assist with the work and Mr Waugham suffered a stroke and fell through a gap in the rafters on to the garage floor. He suffered multiple injuries and died in hospital some three weeks later.

Powerful message sent to roofing contractors

Mr Mason from Tiptree received an eight month prison sentence, suspended for twelve months and was ordered to pay £500 costs at Chelmsford Crown Court after admitting breaching section 3 (2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Lesley Balkham said:

“This sends out a powerful message to roofing contractors. Steve Mason failed to properly consider the risks of the job and act to limit the chances of injury or even death. He should have put guard-rails around the edge of the roof and taken measures to prevent anyone falling through the roof, but he chose not to.

No matter what size the business, everyone in the construction industry should be very familiar with the risks of working at height and appreciate the importance of ensuring that the right precautions are put in place, however small the job. Falls from height remain one of the biggest causes of workplace deaths in the UK.”

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