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12th January 2024

Roofing Company Is Fined £881K Following HSE Investigations.

Birds on a red tile roof

What’s Happened

A roofing company has been recently fined a total of £881,000 after two workers were seriously injured during two separate, but similar incidents. One of the roofing companies’ employees is understood to have fractured his pelvis after falling through a factory roof in Newcastle. He had been replacing a skylight in a corrugated cement roof when he fell and landed on the concrete floor seven metres below. This resulted in him being hospitalized for three weeks after the incident.

Meanwhile, in a separate incident at the other end of the UK, another employee working on a project being run by the same company was crossing a fragile roof on a project in Swansea when he fell through a skylight at a unit employee landed on his back approximately 20 feet on the floor below. He fractured his femur and suffered a blood clot in one of his main arteries, which requires long-term medication as a result.

HSE Investigation

Given the severity of the injuries sustained by both workers, The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated both incidents and subsequently decided to prosecute the roofing company.

The HSE investigation found that the company had failed on both accounts to properly plan and carry out the work to replace the skylights. The work at height had not been thoroughly risk assessed and the HSE found that whilst some safety nets were in place on other sections of the roof – these were not directly underneath the skylight where the accident happened.

The company appeared at Newcastle Crown Court where they were found guilty of breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Following a three-day sentencing hearing at Newcastle Crown Court on 6 December 2023, the company was fined £575,000 and ordered to pay £84,940.08 in costs. Following the sentencing, the HSE inspector involved in the case said: “Too many workers are injured or die every year as a result of falling through fragile roof lights without adequate fall prevention or protection measures in place.

“These were both shocking incidents, which had a lasting impact on those who were injured.”

There is a specific HSE Web page which provides detailed guidance on working at height but if you should have any queries on fall protection, roof work or risk assessments for work at height, then don’t hesitate to call our advice line today on 0300 303 5228.

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