FOLLOWING NEWS published in the Roofing Today Bulletin last week, of the tragic death of roofer Daniel Shrimpton, protests have been raised at the community service sentence imposed on the roofer’s employer.
Although the tragic fall took place while Daniel was working for a roofing company whose director was also his uncle, objectors say the sentence – of 200 hours unpaid work – was shockingly lenient and does not deter other employers from taking safety shortcuts.
“Rather than community sentences, directors who knowingly cut corners which results in workers dying, should be sent to prison.
“A community sentence is not a sufficient deterrent, for someone who has knowingly risked someone’s life. The genuine threat of a prison sentence will improve safety in our industry overnight,” said Unite national construction officer Jerry Swain.
He adds, “This was a tragic and needless accident. No sentence or fine will ever fill the yearning hole of a family losing a loved one.
“Until all of the construction industry takes safety seriously these types of tragedies will be all too frequent.
Daniel Shrimpton was employed by Ray Strank Roofing Ltd and on 9 December 2015 was removing flashing from the roof of a two-storey terraced house in Wimbledon. Soon after beginning work he was found lying unresponsive on the ground and died later that day in hospital.
A joint police and HSE investigation found Ray Strank Roofing Ltd had failed to properly plan the work and that simple scaffolding – a normal part of most roofing work – to provide edge protection could have prevented the fall.
Ray Strank Roofing Roofing Limited did not even price the work to include the cost of scaffolding – an illegal way of undercutting other roofing firms bidding for the work and one that puts every roofer on the job at risk.
Ray Strank pleaded guilty and as well as being sentenced to 200 hours unpaid work he was ordered to pay costs of £5,500.