Contractor and client failures triggered rooflight fatal fall
Construction client Dairy Crest Ltd and contractor Dartmeet Services Ltd have been prosecuted after a scaffolder died when he fell 8m through a fragile roof light whilst working on top of a chemical store in November 2008.
Truro Crown Court heard (30 Jan) that Michael Stone, 44, of Plymouth, was erecting a scaffold at the premises near Camelford when the incident happened. He was engaged Dartmeet Services Ltd who were contracted to replace the chemical store roof
Mr Stone had not been made aware that the roof included fragile rooflights and there were no signs or markings evident to indicate the danger.
HSE investigators found Mr Stone and other workmen were not requested to ‘sign in’ to gain access to the roof and no-one at the site checked the scaffolding risk assessment for the work.
Mr Stone landed on a concrete floor when he fell, suffering multiple injuries. He died in hospital seven days later.
“Yet another fatality” involving fragile rooflights
Dairy Crest Ltd of Esher Surrey was fined £75,000 and ordered to pay £20,000 costs after pleading guilty to breaches of Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulation 9(3) (a) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
Main contractor Dartmeet Services Ltd of Newton Abbot, Devon pleaded guilty to breaches of Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £30,000 with £10,000 costs.
HSE Inspector, Barry Trudgian, said:
“This is yet another tragic fatality caused by working on a roof with fragile rooflights where the risks are well-known. In this case, no-one involved took proper control to make Mr Stone aware of the issue.
There should have been signs on the building indicating the presence of fragile rooflights and any work on the roof should have been subject to a thorough risk assessment and supervision.
Simple, straightforward, commonsense procedures could have saved Mr Stone’s life.”