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Contractor seriously injured in fragile skylight fall

Date:
28 September 2016

London exhibition venue firm, The Business Design Centre Ltd, and a building contractor have been fined for safety failings after a specialist contractor fell through a fragile skylight.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard how the Business Design Centre allowed workers to cross an unsafe roof, which contained three fragile skylights and open edges, and failed to prevent contractors crossing the same unsafe roof on a number of occasions.

The court also heard that James Murphy, 64, from Chigwell in Essex, who had been appointed by The Business Design Centre Ltd to undertake repair work at the site, had led a specialist lead contractor over the unsafe roof on 14 May 2015. As he walked over the unsafe roof the lead contractor fell through a skylight, falling 5.5m. He suffered serious injuries including a shattered pelvis, broken wrist, and a broken elbow.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident found that the Business Design Centre failed to ensure that access to and from the areas of the roof which required repair was suitable and safe, and that sufficient measures were in place to protect against the risks of falling from height.

James Murphy failed to ensure that the job of accessing and then inspecting the auditorium roof was properly planned.

The Business Design Centre Limited, of Upper Street, Islington, pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, was fined £300,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2925,56

James Murphy, of High Road, Chigwell, Essex, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1)(a) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, and was fined £4,000 and also ordered to pay costs of £2925.56

For further information on safe working on roofs visit: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/geis5.htm ; http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg284.pdf ; http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/safetytopics/roofwork.htm

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. www.hse.gov.uk
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: www.legislation.gov.uk/
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk

 

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