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    DIRECTOR PROSECUTED AFTER 6METRE ROOF FALL

    Untrained worker fell through rooflight in fragile asbestos roof

    The director of Globalforce Contracts Limited, a building and cleaning company, has been sentenced after an employee fell from a roof in Harlow, Essex sustaining life-threatening injuries in April 2017.

    Chelmsford Magistrates Court heard how the workman was carrying out roof repairs when he fell 6m through a fragile rooflight to the concrete floor below. He suffered multiple fractures to his vertebrae, ribs, elbow, wrist and spent eight weeks in hospital.

    HSE investigators found that the director failed to properly plan the work or provide adequate fall protection to his employees.

    Director personally accountable

    The workman had never carried out roofwork before and was instructed to access the roof via a scissor lift, which he was not trained to use. He worked without supervision, undertaking activities that necessitated walking across a fragile roof composed of asbestos cement sheeting.

    • Graham Dyson – of Bulphan, Essex, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, by virtue of S37 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was sentenced to 200 hours of community service and ordered to pay costs of £6,848.60 and a victim surcharge of £85.

    After the hearing, HSE inspector Adam Hills said

    “This incident could so easily have been prevented. Work at height on asbestos cement roofing is dangerous and requires adequate planning, organisation, training and equipment.

    The director was aware of the need to access and repair the roof. He could have provided work at height training and equipment to workers, or simply contracted the task out to a professional roofing company.

    Directors should be aware that they may be held personally accountable if they endanger the lives of their employees.”

     

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