Roofer jailed after worker fell more than 16-feet to his death

A man has been jailed after a worker fell from the roof of a commercial property in North London and died a week later.

Patrick McCarthy (trading as All Care Home Improvements) was given a 14-month custodial sentence after the death of Mr Andrei-Ionel Hutanu in 2019. No scaffolding or other measures had been put in place to prevent falls from the roof.

Harrow Crown Court heard how 33-year-old Mr Hutanu and another man were working at the rear of  commercial premises in Neasden on 19 August 2019. While his co-worker had been instructed to remove building materials from a flat roof, Mr Hutanu had been instructed to carry out repair work on a tiled pitched roof. He was working on it from a roofing ladder when he fell approximately 16-feet onto a concrete alleyway below.

He fractured his neck and sustained other serious head injuries in the fall and despite being taken by air ambulance to St Marys Hospital in Paddington, he sadly died a week later, on 26 August 2019.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident found 37-year-old McCarthy had failed to take any steps to prevent falls from height by failing to install scaffolding around the perimeter of the building or flat roof where both men were working.

Mr Patrick McCarthy (trading as All Care Home Improvements) of Bashley Road, Ealing, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.  He received a 14 -month custodial sentence at a hearing on 4 April 2023.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Philip Jordan said: “This tragic incident could have been easily avoided. Assessing and planning work at height is essential to ensuring that suitable and sufficient measures are in place to prevent falls from height.

“The custodial sentence imposed on Mr McCarthy should underline to everyone in the construction industry that the courts, and HSE, take a failure to follow the regulations extremely seriously. HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against individuals or companies that fall below the required standards.”


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.
  2. More information about the legislation referred to in this case is available.
  3. Further details on the latest HSE news releases is available.
  4. HSE guidance on carrying out roof work safely and working at height is available.