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    FRAGILE ROOF FALL DEATH ATTRACTS NOMINAL FINE

    Volunteer fell through roof of football club stand

    A football club has been fined after a ‘volunteer’ died when he fell through a fragile roof in July 2017.

    Luton Magistrates heard how the 71-year-old volunteer at St Albans City Football and Athletic Club Limited suffered fatal injuries when he fell through fragile roof sheeting onto terrace steps below.

    HSE investigators found that the company failed to ensure a suitable system was in place to authorise certain work. The regulator reports that:

    “It was also found that inadequate supervision, together with volunteers being provided with keys to gain uncontrolled entry to the football ground, resulted in access to the roof to carry out repairs in an unsafe manner.”

    St Albans City Football and Athletic Club Ltd, of Victoria Street, St Albans pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £1000 and ordered to pay costs of £1000.

    Employee safety standard required

    After the hearing HSE inspector Sandra Dias said:

    “This was a tragic and wholly avoidable fatality caused by the failure of the club in its duty of care towards volunteers.

    Employers who use volunteers have to ensure their safety, the same as if they were a paid employee.”

    Comment

    The fine imposed by the court in this case appears ‘low’ in the light of the reported facts and the fatal consequences. The ability to pay will have been considered by the court and the fine may therefore have been set at a level which would not imperil the existence of the club.

     

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