Employer sentenced after worker falls 30 feet through skylight

A roofing contractor has received a suspended sentence after an employee fell approximately 30 feet through a glass skylight on a warehouse roof in Blackburn.

Preston Crown Court heard Nizamuddin Gorji was engaged to over-clad the existing roof. He employed three operatives to carry out the work which commenced on 13 May 2020. The following day one of the employees fell through the roof sustaining severe life changing injuries to his pelvis, arm, knee and face and has undergone extensive surgery since.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Mr Gorji failed to adequately plan the roof work or consider the equipment required. There was no scaffolding in place around the building or under-slinging nets, covering fragile skylights and asbestos cement sheets. He had not completed any health and safety training and did not adequately train the operatives he employed.

Nizamuddin Gorji of Woodbine Road, Blackburn pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 9 (2) and 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. He received a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years and was ordered to pay costs of £3,000.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Jackie Western said: “The risks from working at height, especially when involving fragile roof materials such as asbestos cement roof sheets and fragile rooflights, are well known. Those in control of the work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working, which should include ensuring the use of suitable work equipment and adequate supervision.”

 

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: hsg33.pdf (hse.gov.uk)  Construction – Fragile surfaces industry health & safety (hse.gov.uk)

  1. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk