Prison Sentence for Roofing Contractor

Council H&S officers reported dangerous roof work to HSE – Prison Sentence for Roofing Contractor. A roofing contractor has been sentenced for safety breaches after workers were left at risk of falling from unprotected roof edges in February 2016. The failures of C Smith Roofing (Mr Chris Smith T/A) were discovered by local council health and safety staff who could see unsafe scaffolding from their office window.

Leeds Crown Court heard that in November 2015 Mr Smith was contracted to carry out some roof repairs to a Guest House roof in Northallerton. Scaffolding was erected along the full length of the roof at the front of the property. There was a conservatory structure at the rear of the property and the company erected only a partial scaffold at the rear. The scaffolding erected at the rear failed to take the conservatory into account which left approximately two-thirds of the rear roof edge unprotected.

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Unsafe roof work

Unsafe Roof Work – a roofing contractor employed by Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council has had its unsafe working practices exposed after an employee fell through a roof light.

In a prosecution brought by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), Dudley magistrates heard how people were working on the roof for Woodhull Roofing had no safety measures in place to prevent them from falling. Woodhull Roofing Ltd was contracted to carry out work for Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council. The work was to coat roofing bolts in an asbestos cement roof, to seal leaks. While working on the corrugated roof a worker misplaced his footing when moving a board and stepped onto a fragile roof light. He fell through the roof onto a concrete floor approximately four metres below. He broke several ribs and suffered spinal injuries.

An HSE investigation found that the roof work was not undertaken with inadequate precautions to provide support or protection – unsafe roof work. Woodhull Roofing Ltd of Stratford Road, Shirley was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay costs of £495.27 after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 9 (2) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

HSE inspector Gareth Langston said after the hearing: “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. In this case, suitable measures such as sufficient platforms, handrails and netting should have been provided to ensure the health and safety of people working at height on the roof.”

Unsafe roof work is a significant (but avoidable,) cause of workplace death and injury.

Large fine for fall from height injury

Fines totalling £965,000 have been imposed on two companies as a result of a fall from height injury suffered by an employee. BAM Nuttall and McNealy Brown have been fined £900,000 and £65,000 respectively after they admitted failing to put proper procedures and safeguards in place to prevent a worker (in this case a painter PW) falling through the passenger waiting room ceiling at the railway station in East Croydon. PW, who was aged 31 at the time of the accident, suffered severe ligament damage and has been unable to return to work as an industrial painter since falling around 10 feet while working at East Croydon railway station in January 2015.

Croydon Crown Court heard that the two companies agreed the £12million contract with Network Rail to undertake the replacement of station floor surfaces, canopy roofs and cladding. BAM Nuttall started work in January 2014 and later that year a third company (DRH) was asked by the existing contractors to supply industrial painters to undertake specialist tasks. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Step ladder fall leads to £1,000,000 fine

A Hull-based bakery has been ordered to pay a fine of £1 Million after a self-employed contractor died when he fell from a stepladder. Hull Crown Court heard that the worker was contracted to complete electrical work at Greencore Grocery Ltd site in Hull in October 2013. The worker was wiring two motors for a new sugar paste machine – the work was situated above a machine and carried out from a stepladder. The company agreed this work activity could be completed using a stepladder, which it had provided. The employee fell from the step ladder and suffered fatal injuries. He is thought to have hit his head on a wall when he fell after standing with one foot on the top of the step-ladder, and the other on a cantilever lid, which moved, causing him to lose his balance.

The Health and Safety Executive’s investigation found that Greencore failed to properly plan the activity from the beginning including access arrangements to be made for installation of motors to use to carry out this work activity.

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Another Roof Safety Failure

Another roof safety failure has resulted in a roofing company being fined for safety failings related to working at height. The fine related to the lack of precautions taken rather than to an injury or accident.

Brighton Magistrates Court heard how numerous concerns were raised by members of the public about work being carried out by G & S Roofing Limited. The roofing company twice ignored written advice to address the issue of working at height in an unsafe manner. On top of this history, a concerned member of the public contacted the HSE in August 2016 after seeing more evidence of operatives hired by G & S Roofing working unsafely from height. Inspectors then visited the site in response to the contact from the member of the public.

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Roof works fall from height

A fall from height during roof repair works leads to prosecution and fine – a Stranraer based groundwork company was fined after a worker fell more than seven metres through a fragile roof.

The Stranraer Sheriff Court today heard the 42-year-old had been sub-contracted by McKeown Groundworks Limited, to carry out roof repairs on a barn at Whiteley’s Farm, Stranraer. On 24 May 2016, the worker arrived at the farm to work on the roof. As he walked along the roof he stepped on a translucent light panel that broke under his weight resulting in his falling through the roof and onto the ground below. The worker suffered a compression fracture of the lower back as a result of this incident.

Roof works fall from height – an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that McKeown Groundworks Limited failed to adequately supervise this work at height and relied on the experience of the workers to avoid injury while working at height. It was also found that McKeown failed to plan the work at height and therefore no control measures had been put in place to prevent workers falling from or through the roof.

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Three directors jailed

Three directors jailed for health and safety offences. Three company directors have been jailed following the death of a worker who fell while working on a roof at a warehouse in Essex.

An employee of  Koseoglu Metalworks Ltd (NV, aged 63) died in hospital after falling through the roof of a warehouse in Harlow in April 2015. At the hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court, Koseoglu Metalworks Ltd admitted an offence of corporate manslaughter and its sole director, Kadir Kose, admitted an offence under the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA).

Ozdil Investments Ltd denied corporate manslaughter and a HSWA offence but was convicted following a trial at Chelmsford Crown Court. Two of its directors, Firat Ozdil and Ozgur Ozdil, were convicted of a HSWA offence and were jailed for twelve months and ten months. Kose was jailed for eight months.

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Control measures need to be managed

A recent case demonstrates that control measures need to be managed. Control measures are things that we identify in risk assessments and procedures that are intended to keep people safe. If control measures are not adhered to (ignored, or people not being aware of them) them people are not being kept safe, and they may be harmed. Part of good health and safety management is to identify the appropriate control measures (such as through risk assessment), communicate the findings to relevant people (such as those working in the area), and then monitor the use and effectiveness of the control measures.

In this Dublin-based case, a driver (JM) was employed by a logistics company and was collecting packages at an Aer Lingus cargo warehouse at the airport in November 2014. He fell from a loading bay and died some days later from the resulting head trauma. The court heard that the airline failed to apply its own procedure, which required drivers to enter and leave the warehouse via stairs and a doorway adjacent to the loading bay.

Aer Lingus pleaded guilty to an offence under s 12 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 and was fined €250,000 (£213,000).


Recycling Industry – cardboard storage injury

A recycling company has been fined £160,000 for a cardboard storage injury arising from a bale crush event. The Smethwick-based firm, Arrow Recycling,  has been fined after its failure to safely stack cardboard bales led to a worker being crushed under more than a third of a tonne of the material and being placed in a coma for ten days. The forty-nine-year-old employee (PA) was left fighting for his life when an unstable stack of cardboard bales, weighing around 400kg, tumbled over and landed on him as he was carrying out work at the firm’s recycling site in April 2016. PA suffered a cracked skull and a brain haemorrhage.

Arrow Recycling pleaded guilty to breaching reg 10(4) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was sentenced at Wolverhampton Magistrates’ last week. The company was fined £160,000 and also ordered to pay £2,917 in costs.