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Bradford man spared jail after father fell through roof

A Bradford man has been given a suspended prison sentence after an employee sustained life-threatening injuries when he fell 30-feet through a fragile roof.

Fazal Subkhan, 57, was given the nine-month sentence (suspended for two years) after pleading guilty to health and safety breaches. It related to an incident on 25 March 2020 when Uzaifa Khan, 34, suffered a number of significant injuries including a broken hip and pelvis.

Thirty-four-year-old Mr Khan fell more than 30 feet through the fragile roof

Father-of-two Mr Khan said the incident at a unit in Shipley, left him unable to do ’95 per cent’ of things he did before.

“It’s been a crazy two and a half years,” he said.

“A lot has happened since regarding my physical and mental wellbeing.

“It has impacted me greatly.

“I can’t physically pick up my daughter and she cries that I can’t do so.

“I don’t feel safe going out anymore as I can’t physically look after myself.”

Leeds Crown Court heard that Subkhan was working on the roof of Unit C, Ashely Lane in Shipley, with Mr Khan. However he fell through the fragile roof landing on pallets approximately 36-feet below. His other injuries included broken ribs, a partially collapsed lung, a shattered left wrist and a broken left elbow.

Fazal Subkhan was given a nine-month suspended prison sentence in relation to the incident

“The accident has completely changed my life,” he went on to say.

“The key memory is falling and when I was on the floor and in pain, he came up to me and said ‘make sure you tell the police you went on the roof on your

own accord’.”

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Mr Subkhan had made previous repairs to the roof at the site but returned to undertake further work. No risk assessment was undertaken for working on the fragile roof. Safe access to the roof, and the risk of falling through or from the roof were not considered and no controls of any sort were put in place.

Fazal Subkhan of Rochester Street, Bradford, West Yorkshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (2) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. As well as the suspended prison sentence he must also complete 150 hours unpaid work and was ordered to pay £2,500 in costs.

HSE inspector Chris Tilley said: “Falls through fragile roofs and fragile roof lights cause death and serious injury.  They account for almost a fifth of all the fatal accidents which result from a fall from height in the construction industry.

“It’s better to avoid working on fragile roofs at all but if you have to, always assess the risk and employ safe control measures like installing perimeter edge protection, the use of staging on the roof surface to spread the loads or install safety nets underneath the roof”.

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. Guidance on carrying out roof work safely is available.
  5. Additional guidance on working at height is also available.