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    CLIENT AND CONTRACTOR TOGETHER IN COURT

    Fragile roof fall exposes client failure to manage project

    Stuart Barnes Limited and project client Aster Property Limited have been sentenced after an employee fell through a fragile roof whilst at work in January 2016.

    Weymouth Magistrates heard that 27-year-old Luke Maslen was replacing the roofing on garages owned by the client when he fell almost 2m through the roof to flooring below. He suffered a serious fracture to the upper spine as a result of the fall.

    HSE investigators found the work was not properly planned, appropriately supervised or carried out in a safe manner when the incident occurred.

    Incident easily avoided

    The HSE investigation also found that the project client failed in its duty to “control how the work was carried out and to ensure any contractors hired could carry out the work safely”.

    The work was done under the control of Stuart Barnes Limited who failed to plan the work properly and in a safe manner. It was found that some of the employees were not properly trained.

    • Aster Property Limited – of Horton Avenue, Cannings Hill, Devizes, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and has been fined £14,600 and ordered to pay costs of £5,015.75.
    • Stuart Barnes Limited –  of Portland Road, Weymouth, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 (1)(a) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, and has been fined £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,015.75.

    Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Allison George said:

    “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices.

    Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities/injuries in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well known.”

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