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    SCAFFOLDER DIED IN FALL THROUGH FRAGILE ROOF

    Contractor given prison term and main contractor fined

    A sole trader scaffolding contractor and the project have been sentenced after a workman died following a fall through a fragile roof during construction work at a factory in Staffordshire in September 2015.

    Wolverhampton Crown Court heard how the scaffold contractor employee was fatally injured when he fell some 12m through the roof to the floor below.

    The employee was working on the corrugated asbestos cement roof to move and fit temporary scaffold guardrails as part of a larger roof refurbishment project at the site.

    Common cause of work-related fatalities

    HSE investigators found that the contractor failed to ensure the health and safety of his employees in relation to the work taking place on the fragile roof at the site.

    The main contractor in overall control of the roof refurbishment project failed to ensure that people not in its employment were not exposed to risks arising from work on the fragile roof.

    • Stephen John Brennan ( SB Scaffolding T/A) – of Lorimer Way, Birmingham, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was sentenced to six months imprisonment suspended for two years, 180 hours of unpaid community service and ordered to pay costs of £14,000.
    • Sandwell Roofing Limited – of New Wood Farm Stourton, Stourbridge, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £41,125 and ordered to pay costs of £33,000.

    Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Andrew Bowker said:

    “Falls through fragile roof materials remain one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities during construction work. These risks are well known, and the required control measures well documented in both HSE and industry guidance.

    This was a tragic and wholly avoidable accident that led to the death of a young man. This death could easily have been prevented if suitable safe systems of work had been in place.”

     

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