Roofing company fined after worker suffers fatal injuries in fall

A roofing company has been fined after an employee fell through an industrial roof light, sustaining fatal injuries.

Basildon Crown Court heard how On 25 February 2018, Jonathan Moore an employee of R4 Industrial Roofing Cladding Systems Ltd was undertaking repairs on a large warehouse roof in the Port of Tilbury when he stepped on a fragile rooflight, which gave way. He fell more than 10 metres to the concrete floor below sustaining fatal injuries.

The HSE found that the repair work was carried out without appropriate safety precautions in place. The planning and supervision of the work was completely inadequate, which also put a self-employed worker assisting with the repairs at risk.

R4 Industrial Roofing Cladding Systems Ltd of Friern Gardens, Wickford, Essex pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

They were fined £165,000 and ordered to pay costs of £20,957.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Glyn Davies 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.

“Companies should be aware that unsafe work at height without suitable and sufficient controls in place is not acceptable and HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standard.”

HSE
23 February 2021

What we think

The law says that contractors and employers must manage the danger by avoiding work on or near fragile surfaces and controlling any remaining risk. If the working at height is unavoidable, a Safe Safe Systems of Work should be put in place, such as the use of staging, guarding and fall arrest systems. Other control measures can include roof light protection, man-safe systems, safety nets and / or air bags beneath the work area. Procedures should also be put in place to ensure employees understand the control measures and safety precautions that are in place.

The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 places a duty on Employers to prepare a Risk Assessment and record in writing the significant findings of the risk assessement, where the Company employs five or more people. A risk assessment will not only identify the Hazards that exist but it will also highlight the control measures that need to be put in place. These controls are likely to list the equipment that will be used and the need for using Competent Operatives to complete the task. A good risk assessment will include much more and it must be shared with the employers completing the work.

How we can help

Wiser Safety can develop a Working at Height Safe System of Work or we can provide a Risk Assessment to suit your requirements. We can also train your workforce so they are able to work safely at height.

Training can either be delivered in-person, in a classroom environment with practical elements or we can provide eLearning training. We have cost effective training solutions to suit your training needs and budget. See all our courses

Contact us now to discuss a workable solution. Please feel free to call us on 01732 446503 or message us