Firm fined after foreman suffered brain damage in rooflight fall
Focus (Southampton) Ltd has been prosecuted after a foreman suffered brain damage when he fell through a fragile rooflight on a Fareham indstrial unit in April 2011. The 57 year old foreman was working on a project to remove an asbestos cement roof when he fell.
Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court heard that the company had been contracted by the client to remove and replace an existing asbestos cement roof above two units.
The work was planned and a risk assessment and method statement prepared for the project. Work equipment including a scissor lift and materials including the new roofing panels had also been provided. However, the site did not have sufficient protection to prevent the workers from falling.
HSE established that the company had not “taken into account the risk of falling off the roof or from an internal mezzanine floor”.
Effective protection for workmen not provided
Focus (Southampton) Ltd of Norham Ave, Southampton, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 7 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £1,000 in costs.
HSE inspector Nina Judkins said after the hearing:
“The company did not provide effective protection for the workers it was responsible for and it was this failure that led to one worker sustaining severe injuries.
Focus (Southampton) Ltd failed to recognise that the project could not be completed from below the roof and therefore the equipment was not sufficient to ensure safety.
This incident was entirely preventable if the company had followed the free guidance and advice provided about roofing work on the HSE’s website.”