Magistrates have fined a roofing firm £10,000 for a safety breach after one if its employees died when he fell through a rooflight.
Northampton Magistrates’ Court heard on Monday that 46-year-old Mark Cooper was working for Northamptonshire company JBS Roofing Ltd on a building at Corby’s Earlstrees Industrial Estate on 11 June 2011.
He was replacing the fragile rooflight due to a leak when he fell though it and landed on the concrete floor six metres below, the court was told.
Mr Cooper had a fractured skull and he tragically died in hospital three days later, magistrates heard.
Fragile rooflights not covered
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the roofing firm after its investigation revealed it had not installed any edge protection around the roof; the rooflights were not covered and did not have any measures to prevent or mitigate against falls, and there was no safe access to the roof for those working on it.
The HSE also found the company had not planned the work properly nor coordinated the work with the owner of the commercial unit.
After admitting a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, JBS Roofing Ltd, based at Rockingham Road in Kettering, was fined and also ordered to pay costs of £4,987.
Personal injury claims
The tragic accident was preventable, according to HSE Inspector Samuel Russell, speaking after the case concluded.
He said it is vital that roofing firms use safe systems of working throughout a project when work is going on at height.
It is important to adopt the best standards of safety and to use the right equipment no matter how long a project is expected to take, but especially when it is a long-term operation.
Mr Russell said JBS Roofing Ltd is an experienced company and had done lots of work at height in the past but it put its roofers at risk. He says incidents at height result in more deaths than any other kind of workplace accident.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: March 11, 2015
Author: Jonathan Brown