5 August Roofer and scaffolder both sentenced following a fatal fall from height at a two-storey terraced house A roofer and a scaffolder have been sentenced following a fatal fall from height at a two-storey terraced house on Rosevine Road, Wimbledon. PD and AB were working on the house roof, which was accessed using a ladder and scaffolding that had been erected by DG. During the course of work, PD asked AB for help moving some slates up onto the roof using an electric hoist. While he was carrying out this operation, AB fell approximately six metres through a gap, which was adjacent to the hoist. He landed on the ground, where he died almost immediately. Lack of Qualification & Training The HSE’s investigation found that DG had erected the scaffold leaving a 1.17m gap in the edge protection at the ladder access point without fitting a scaffold gate. DG had erected the scaffold when not fully qualified to do so and it did not comply with industry standards or legal requirements. PD was in charge of the roof work, which he allowed to proceed despite the gap and unsafe ladder access. It was determined that he lacked the training to manage health and safety on the site and failed to appoint a suitably qualified scaffolder to erect the scaffold. PD (trading as Prestige Roofing) pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,318. DG (trading as DDP scaffolding) pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,318. Cost of suitable fall prevention – that would have saved a life: £40 and a few minutes of installation time Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Kevin Smith: The tragedy of this incident was that it was totally avoidable. Preventative measures were inexpensive and required little time or effort. Reducing the size of the opening in the guard rails and installing a self-closing scaffold gate would have stopped this man from falling to his death. A scaffold gate costs around £40 and only takes a few minutes to install. Those involved in scaffolding and roof work on smaller sites need to be aware of the potentially devastating consequences of failing to put basic safeguards in place.