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    PC AND TWO OTHERS FAILED TO ASSESS WIND EFFECT

    Fall of director from roof caused by ‘Storm Doris’ gust

    Three construction companies have been sentenced after the director of one of the firms received serious injuries after falling 11m when a gust of wind “blew him off a roof”.

    The incident took place during work on a new three storey teaching block at a school in Hillingdon, West London in September 2017.

    Westminster Magistrates heard how ‘Storm Doris’ was moving across the UK bringing gusts of wind up to 94 mph. The winds had prompted numerous warnings on site and many activities had been suspended.

    SOURCE: HSE HSG33 HEALTH AND SAFETY IN ROOFWORK

    The roof work continued, until the early afternoon on 23rd September, when a gust of wind blew John Whitham, aed 52,  from the roof, along with freestanding A-frame barriers and stacks of insulation.

    Mr Whitham sustained severe injuries to his pelvis, vertebrae and tibia, from which he continues to suffer.

    System for assessing wind not followed

    Bowmer and Kirkland were the principal contractor on the project. Advanced Roofing were contracted to carry out the roofing works on the project and had sub-contracted the substantive roofing works on the main building to JKW Roofing while using its own workers on other areas.

    HSE investigators found all three contractors had failed to ensure that a suitable and sufficient system to assess the effects of high wind when working at height was being followed.

    The companies adopted an “informal approach” to assessing weather conditions which was not in line with industry standards.

    • Bowmer and Kirkland Limited – of Belper, Derbyshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and were fined £350,000 and ordered to pay £6,190.28 in costs.
    • Advanced Roofing Limited – of Littlewell Lane, Stanton-By-Dale, Derbyshire,  pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and were fined £29,300 and ordered to pay £6,187.88 in costs.
    • J.K.W. Roofing Services Limited – of Arnold, Nottinghamshire,  pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and received 12 month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £6,159.48 in costs.

    Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Gabriella Dimitrov said:

    “Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to the workers in the safe system of working.

    If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to the incident, the life changing injuries sustained by Mr Whitham could have been prevented.”

     

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