A construction company and a roofing firm have been fined after a worker was seriously injured in a fall through the roof of a South Shields community centre.
Tony Brown, 55, from Newcastle was employed as a roofer by M C Roofing Contractors Ltd. He fell four metres and broke six ribs in the incident on 7 December 2012. It took him a number of months to recover.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted his employers and the principal contractors for the project, Brims Construction, after an investigation identified serious safety failings.
HSE inspectors found that there were no suitable safety measures in place to prevent a person falling through the rooflight holes. There had been nets installed to the steel framework just below the roof, but these had been removed more than two weeks before the incident.
Brims Construction, of Austin Boulevard, Quay West Business Park, Sunderland was fined £50,000 after being found guilty of breaching Regulation 22(1)(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. The company was also ordered to pay £35,000 costs.
M C Roofing Contractors Ltd, of Brunswick Industrial Estate, Wideopen, Newcastle, was fined £8,000 after being found guilty of breaching Regulation 13(2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. The company was also ordered to pay £999 costs.
Speaking after the case HSE inspector Emma Scott said: “This was a wholly avoidable incident that resulted in serious injuries to Mr Brown, and which could have easily been fatal.
“Work at height is a high risk activity and falls from height remain the single biggest cause of death and serious injury in the construction industry.”
For more information about working at height safely log onto the website at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/falls/index.htm
Notes to Editors
- Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice; promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice; and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk
- Regulation 22(1)(a) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 states: “The principal contractor for a project shall plan, manage and monitor the construction phase in a way which ensures that, so far as is reasonably practicable, it is carried out without risks to health or safety.
- Regulation 13(2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 states: “Every contractor shall plan, manage and monitor construction work carried out by him or under his control in a way which ensures that, so far as is reasonably practicable, it is carried out without risks to health and safety.”
- HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk/