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SOLE TRADER PRISON SENTENCE OVER ROOF FALL

Fall through fragile rooflight caused by poor planning and assessment

A sole trader contractor has been has been sentenced to 180 hours community service and a six-month prison sentence (suspended for twelve months) after a 30-year old labourer fell more than 6m through a fragile roof.

Wolverhampton Crown Court heard how Mr Stephen Spreadbury hired the services of the worker to help him complete roof work at a site in Wolverhampton. On 7 January 2017 the workman was walking along a solid section of the roof when he walked past Mr Spreadbury and stepped on what he believed to be a solid piece of roofing.

The area of the roof was in fact a glass skylight which failed under has weight and he fell to the concrete floor below suffering fractures to his spine, pelvis and shoulder. He spent several weeks in hospital and will never return to work as a roofer.

Planning required for all projects

HSE investigators found that Stephen Spreadbury failed to address the risk of working at height and on fragile surfaces before undertaking the roof work and failed to ensure the work was carried out in a safe manner.

  • Stephen Spreadbury – of Smestow, Swindon, Dudley pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2015 and has been sentenced to 180 hours community service and given a six-month prison sentence suspended for twelve months.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Joanne Pearson said:

“This fall from height could have easily proven to be fatal, the worker in this case is very lucky his injuries did not prove to be more life threatening.

All duty holders must ensure they take the appropriate and required safety measures before conducting any work at height, no matter how small or large scale the work is it must be planned and risk assessed properly.”

 

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