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CLIENT PROSECUTED OVER CONTRACTOR ROOF FALL

Occupier failed to prevent access to unsafe areas of roof

The Business Design Centre Ltd, a London-based exhibition venue company, and a building contractor have been fined a total of over £300,000 after a specialist contractor fell through a fragile skylight in May 2015.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard how the company allowed workers to cross an unsafe roof, which contained three fragile skylights and open edges, and failed to prevent contractors crossing the same unsafe roof on a number of occasions.

James Murphy, aged 64, was appointed by The Business Design Centre Ltd to undertake repair work at the site. It was whilst he led a specialist contractor over the unsafe roof that the contractor fell through the skylight to the floor 5.5m below.

He suffered serious injuries including a shattered pelvis, broken wrist, and a broken elbow.

Roof access was not suitable and safe

An investigation by HSE found that the Business Design Centre Ltd failed to ensure that access to and from the areas of the roof which required repair was suitable and safe, and that sufficient measures were in place to protect against the risks of falling from height.

James Murphy failed to ensure that the job of accessing and then inspecting the auditorium roof was properly planned.

  • The Business Design Centre Limited – of Islington, London pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, was fined £300,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2925,56
  • James Murphy – of Chigwell, Essex, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1)(a) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, and was fined £4,000 and also ordered to pay costs of £2925.56

 

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