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ROOF LADDER FAILS TO PREVENT FALL OR FINE

Building prosecuted over chimney work without use of scaffolding

Central Construction (Midlands) (David Hodkinson T/A) has been fined for safety failings after a workman was injured when he fell more than 5m from a roof ladder in November 2011. Adrian Morrow, aged 39, was undertaking chimney repairs at a home in Sutton Coldfield when the incident occurred.

He was working from a roof ladder and as he made his way down the ladder came away from its “moorings”. He fell onto a bag of sand being used to foot the ladder causing injuries to his foot and ankle leaving him unable to work for more than four months.

Birmingham Magistrates heard (25 October) that David Hodkinson failed to ensure the work at height was properly planned, supervised and carried out in a safe manner. He allowed the repairs to go ahead without proper preparation. There was no safe means of roof access, and no protective measures were in place to prevent or mitigate the effects of a fall.

Scaffolding should have been used to carry out this work

David Hodkinson, of Walmley Road, Sutton Coldfield, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. He was fined £1,500 and ordered to pay costs of £500.

After the hearing HSE inspector, Paul Cooper said:

“This incident was entirely preventable and had Mr Morrow not fortuitously landed on a bag of sand, his injuries could have been a lot worse. Scaffolding should have been used to carry out this work and had it been, then the incident could have been avoided,

David Hodkinson had a duty to ensure that workers in his care were not exposed to unnecessary risks to their safety. Falls from height are an obvious risk in roof work and employers and those in control of such activity need to follow the proper safety guidance.”

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