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    DIRECTOR IN DOCK OVER FRAGILE ROOF RISK

    Roofing contractor and director failed to plan and manage falls risk

    A roofing and building company, and its director, have been sentenced after an employee fell through a skylight in March 2018.

    North East Derbyshire & Dales Magistrates’ Court heard the employee was carrying out replacement work on the fragile roof of a stable block when he fell through a skylight.

    He had stepped from newly fitted metal sheets onto a staging board on the skylights. The lower end of the board penetrated the skylight and he fell around some 5m to the floor below, resulting in fractures to his knee, elbow and wrist.

    Prevent or mitigate effects of a fall

    HSE investigators found that Ian Wilkinson, the director of the contractor, did not adequately plan the work at height. A safe system of work was not in place for removal and replacement of the fragile roof of the stable building.

    The measures in place for preventing falls through the fragile roof, or from one of the roof edges, were inadequate.

    There was nothing in place to arrest a fall and prevent falling to the ground in the event of a fall e.g. fall arrest netting

    • Weathervane Roofing & Building Limited – of Vicarage Close, Holmesfield pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation, 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company has been fined £20,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,125.70.
    • Ian Wilkinson – of Vicarage Close, Holmesfield pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 160 hours of unpaid work. He was ordered to pay costs of £1,125.40.

    After the hearing, HSE inspector Laura Royales said:

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

    Whilst the injuries sustained by the operative in this case were serious, it is only by chance that they were not fatal.

    Those in control of work at height must ensure that the work is properly planned and that suitable measures are implemented for preventing falls, or for mitigating the effects of a fall.”

     

    EXAMPLE: OF SAFETY NETTING INSTALLED TO MITIGATE EFFECTS OF A FALL

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