Roofer Sentenced for Health and Safety Failings

A self-employed part-time roofer has been sentenced after exposing a homeowner to carbon monoxide and putting co-workers at risk while working at height.

Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates’ Court heard how on, 9 March 2016, Robert Thompson was in control of work to remove a chimney at a house in Llanharan. Whilst on site, Thompson put his co-workers at risk of falling from a height liable to cause serious physical harm or death. He also exposed the homeowner, his wife and others who visited the property to carbon monoxide.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the gas supply to the property was not isolated before or during the day’s work and rubble fell down the chimney damaging and blocking the flue. The investigation also found that no scaffolding or other fall protection was in place to work safely at height.

Thompson was found guilty of breaching Work at Height Regulations and the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) 1998 Act and was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months, plus 180 hours community work. He was also ordered to pay £1,000 in costs.

HSE inspector, Simon Breen, commented, “Persons carrying out building work, particularly on chimneys. must make sure that they do not block or obstruct an air supply vent or flue and risk the lives of those in the property. They also need to take suitable precautions to prevent workers falling and suffering serious injuries.”

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