Director held to account

This is another case of a Company, and a Director held to account. In this case, Prior Homes Limited and its company Director, Paul Prior, have been sentenced after failing to control the work at height risks associated with working on a fragile roof, which led to a worker sustaining serious injuries.

Two men were removing panels on a fragile roof when one of them fell through to the floor approximately five metres below. The investigation by the HSE found that Prior Homes Limited had failed to plan the work on the roof or to carry out this work safely. Also, Director Paul Prior was found to be personally in charge of this work and had consented to the unsafe working practices.

Prior Homes Limited, of Gillingham, pleaded guilty at Westminster Magistrates’ Court to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £9,334 and ordered to pay costs of £6,398.20.

Director held to account: Paul Prior pleaded guilty to breaching section 37(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was sentenced to a custodial sentence of 8 weeks suspended for 12 months and ordered to undertake 100 hours of unpaid work.

Speaking after the case, HSE principal inspector Keith Levart said:

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

Prior Homes Limited and Paul Prior had established an unsafe and poorly planned working practice which lead to a serious injury to one of the workers, and have been held to account for failing to take adequate action to protect the health and safety of persons working on their site.

Planning and Risk Assessment are simple tools to avoid and manage the risks associated with work at height, including work on fragile roofs.