Builder fined after contractor suffers life-changing injuries in fall from roof

A builder has been sentenced after a contractor fell eight metres from a roof at a site in Hove.

Brighton Magistrates Court heard how on the 28 June 2019, Mark Bucknall was working with another man to install rooflights to the flat roof of a loft conversion in Hove. To access the roof, they had to climb out of a window and up the original tiled roof.

When returning inside the property, the worker slipped and fell landing in the concrete yard of the neighbouring property. He sustained multiple fractures to his spine and right leg, and a fractured left heel and wrist. He is still recovering from the injuries and it is unknown if he will regain mobility.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found that the work was not properly planned. Earlier in the project, scaffold had been erected, but it was removed before the rooflights were delivered. No consideration was given to falling from the edge of the flat roof whilst installing the rooflights, or how they would safely access the roof.

Mark Bucknall of Holmes Avenue, Hove pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £1,760, ordered to pay £2,000 costs and £170 victim surcharge.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Stephen Green, said “The worker’s injuries are life changing and he could have easily been killed. This serious incident and devastation could have been avoided if basic means to enable safe access and prevent falls, such as the scaffolding used earlier in the project, had been in place.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We 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. 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