A roofing contractor has escaped jail after a worker fell to his death because of serious safety failings in the workplace.
Roy Hardaker had his nine-month prison sentence suspended for two years, after Manchester Crown Court heard that he had failed to protect the employee while working at height.
Jason Fogarty, a father of two, was working for 9 to 5 Roofing on the replacement of a flat roof when the incident occurred on December 22, 2013.
Mr Hardaker – a self-employed businessman – and Mr Fogarty had been working together to seal the roof with cladding and flashing. For reasons that could not be determined as part of the investigation, Mr Fogarty climbed a ladder onto the roof, where he fell from the unsecured edge.
He was pronounced dead at the scene. A joint investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Greater Manchester Police determined that Mr Hardaker had failed in his obligations to properly plan and supervise the work, and subsequently brought about a prosecution.
No safety measures in place
The court heard how the work had not been planned appropriately and safety measures – such as scaffold edge protection – were not in place, which could have prevented the fall.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Laura Moran said: “The dangers associated with working at height are well known.
“Mr. Hardaker is an experienced roofer, who completely failed in his duties to properly plan the roof work and to ensure it was carried out safely. By failing to have suitable edge protection installed around the building, Mr. Hardaker put himself and his employees at risk, ultimately costing Mr. Fogarty his life.”
Roy Hardaker of Oldham-based 9 to 5 Roofing pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.
The judge sentenced him to nine months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and 200 hours of unpaid work.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: February 26, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown