Social media

Javascript is required to use HSE website social media functionality.

Father and son fined after worker fell from roof

23 November 2015

A father and son have been fined after a worker fell four metres through a fragile roof he was working on in Hartlepool.

Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court heard how the incident that happened on 19 February 2014 occurred when an employee of Keith and Matthew Brown was working on a roof of a farm when he fell.

The timbers beneath the roof had begun to rot so working was being carried out to remove some of the old roof sheets and replace the rotting timber.

The injured worker could not recall how the incident happened, but he remembered hearing a cracking noise before dropping to the concrete floor below. He sustained several fractured ribs, a broken left elbow and a broken bone in his spine.  He also sustained a double fracture of his pelvis.

There were insufficient measures in place to stop the worker from falling. The way the partners had planned this work was unsafe and did not meet the expected standard. The nature of fragile roofs is that they are not likely to support the weight of a person. 

Mr Keith Brown and Mr Matthew Brown of North Hart Farm in Hart Village, Hartlepool both pleaded guilty to Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and were ordered to pay £1,000 each and the cost of £1,398.42 was split between them. They were also ordered to pay the injured worker £5,000 in compensation.

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) 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.
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: 
  3. HSE news releases are available at




Media contacts

Journalists should approach HSE press office with any queries on regional press releases.