Businessman and construction contractor fined for safety failings

A partner in a retail business and he construction company he contacted to do roof work have been fined for safety failings.

Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court heard how Alan Southwell had arranged for major work to be done on the roof of his retail premises in Brading Isle of Wight Carpenters Road. The work consisted of replacing all polycarbonate roof panels and was estimated to take three weeks.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as part of a programme of proactive inspection, determined that the work had not been suitably planned. Neither Alan Southwell nor the contractor (Imphouse Limited of Merston) had identified the need to protect against falls through the roof.

Alan Southwell of Hazelmount Paddock, Isle of Wight, was fined a total of £2,000, with costs of £868 after pleading guilty to an offence under Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Imphouse Limited of Merston Manor Farm, Chapel Lane, Merston was fined a total of £2,000 with costs of £971 after pleading guilty to Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Dominic Goacher said: “Falls through fragile roofs account for almost a quarter of all work at height deaths, so it is absolutely vital that any such work is properly planned and that the correct equipment and working methods are used at all times.

“Mr Southwell as the client failed to ensure the contractors he appointed developed a safe system of work and took suitable precautions to prevent persons being hurt.

“Imphouse when sending one of their employees to the site failed to appreciate the need for proper planning and implementation for the work to be done safely despite being an experienced contractor.”

For more information about safety when working at height visit:

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) 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.
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: 
  3. HSE news releases are available at

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