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Firm fined after worker seriously hurt in roof fall

Date:
31 July 2014

A roofing firm has today (31 July) been fined after a worker was seriously injured in a five metre fall through the roof of a Gateshead warehouse.

The 61-year-old, from Wrekenton, a roofer employed by C Grant (Roofing and Guttering) Ltd, fractured two vertebrae in his spine and also fractured his pelvis in the incident on 12 June 2012.

He was in hospital for a week and although he is walking again, it is unlikely he will return to work in the roofing industry.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted his employers after an investigation identified serious safety failings.

Gateshead Magistrates’ Court heard that the injured man was part of a two-man team that was working on the roof, sealing roof lights to make them watertight. He fell through one of the rooflights, then through a suspended ceiling below and landed on the floor of a corridor inside the building.

HSE inspectors found that C Grant (Roofing and Guttering) Ltd had failed to ensure that the repair work was carried out in a safe manner.

C Grant (Roofing and Guttering) Ltd, of Coldwell Park Drive, Gateshead, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1)(c) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £1,600 costs.

Speaking after the case HSE Principal Inspector Robert Hirst said:

“This was a wholly avoidable incident that resulted in serious injury to this man.

“Work at height is a high risk activity and falls from height remain the single biggest cause of death and serious injury in the construction industry.

“It is therefore essential that all such work is properly planned, managed and monitored, and carried out in a safe manner by ensuring that all necessary precautions are taken to prevent falls and protect workers.

“C Grant (Roofing and Guttering) Ltd failed to meet these simple requirements.”

For more information about working at height safely log onto the website at:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/falls/index.htm

Notes to Editors

  1. Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice; promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice; and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk
  2. Regulation 4(1)(c) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 states: “Every employer shall ensure that work at height is carried out in a manner which is, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe.”
  3. HSE news releases are available at press.hse.gov.uk

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