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Roofing contractor fined after worker fell from height

17 November 2017

A Dudley based contractor has been fined after a 30-year old labourer fell more than six metres through a fragile roof.

Wolverhampton Crown Court heard how Mr Stephen Spreadbury hired the services of the worker to help him complete roof work at a site in Wolverhampton. On 7 January 2017 the man was walking along a solid section of the roof when his path became blocked off by Mr Spreadbury who was continuing to work. As the worker tried to move round he stepped on what he believed to be a solid piece of roofing, which in fact was a glass skylight that he then fell through and landed on the concrete floor below.

The man suffered numerous fractures to his spine, pelvis and shoulder because of this fall from height. He spent several weeks in hospital and will never return to work as a roofer.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Stephen Spreadbury failed to address the risk of working at height and on fragile surfaces before undertaking this roofing work, he also failed to ensure that fellow workers had the adequate support to complete this work and this resulted in the work being carried out in an unsafe manner.

Stephen Spreadbury of Smestow, Swindon, Dudley pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2015 and has been sentenced to 180 hours community service and given a six-month prison sentence suspended for twelve months.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Joanne Pearson said: “This fall from height could have easily proven to be fatal, the worker in this case is very lucky his injuries did not prove to be more life threatening.

“All duty holders must ensure they take the appropriate and required safety measures before conducting any work at height, no matter how small or large scale the work is it must be planned and risk assessed properly.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We seek to prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise.
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at:
  3. HSE news releases are available at






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