Firm in hot water over roof fall

A roofing company has been fined for safety failings after a worker plummeted through a fragile roof light.

K & DE Barnett and Sons of Rearsby Business Park, Rearsby, Leicestershire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) (a) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. It was consequently fined a total of £6,666 and ordered to pay costs of £523.

Leicester Magistrates’ Court heard how the 29-year-old sub-contractor, who has asked not to be named, was lifting a roof sheet from a stack on top of a loading bay canopy at a warehouse in Green Bank, Melton Mowbray, when the incident occurred on 11 October 2013.

He overbalanced and stepped on to the roof light, which shattered under his weight and he fell more than five metres to the concrete floor below.

Fall at work claim

The man from Blaby suffered several fractures to his wrist and pelvis as well as bruising to his lungs and spine. He was unable to work for three months but has since returned to employment, although not in roofing.

People who have sustained injury in an accident at work that wasn’t their fault may be entitled to seek compensation.

Accident Advice Helpline is on hand to provide advice and support when it comes to making a fall at work claim.

‘Entirely preventable’

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that prior to the roofing work taking place a risk assessment and method statement was prepared by an employee and signed off by a director of K & DE Barnett.

This assessment was not checked or discussed with the sub-contractor before he started work. Nor was there any mention of the use of safety nets or the need for personal protection such as a harness for working at height.

“As a result a worker fell some five metres and could well have been killed in what was an entirely preventable incident,” said HSE inspector Tony Mitchell.

“Work at height on or near fragile material is a major risk activity that can result in fatal or severe injury. The risks are foreseeable and there is ample guidance available on how to comply with the law and carry out work safely.”

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