Serious Roof Fall Lands Contractor in Court

A ROOFER suffered serious injuries after falling five meters through a fragile roof, leading to the sentencing of a Lincolnshire construction company.

On 2 May 2017 an employee of Foundations and Buildings Ltd was constructing the roof of a new agricultural building adjacent to an existing barn in Louth, Lincolnshire. While doing so he stepped onto the fragile roof of the adjacent barn and fell five metres onto the concrete floor and broke his back.

Unsuitable work at height risk assessment
An investigation into the incident revealed that the system of work in use to control risks from work at height was fundamentally unsuitable.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that the work relied on employees wearing harnesses to control the risk of falling when, according to the HSE, it would have been more appropriate to use edge protection or nets. In addition to this the investigation determined that although harnesses had been provided, in reality their use was not enforced by the company.

Lincolnshire-based Foundations and Buildings Limited pleaded guilty to breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £30,000, with costs of £4814.04.

HSE inspector Roy Poulter said: “Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in the safe system of working. If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to the incident, the serious injuries sustained by the employee could have been prevented.”

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