Plymouth roofing firm fined for worker’s life threatening injuries

A roofer nearly died after falling whilst working on the ridge of part of a roof where there was no protection to prevent a fall.

James Hopkin (29) from Plymouth, was working on the pitched roof of a mid-terraced house in Torpoint on 18 April 2013 when he fell down onto the rear tenement roof and landed in a neighbouring courtyard suffering severe head injuries.

The incident was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) which prosecuted Mr Hopkin’s employer, BC Roofing, at Truro Magistrates Court today (2 September).

The court heard that Mr Hopkin was the supervisor for the work on the house in Marine Drive and was working on the ridge of the main roof when he fell, sustaining life threatening and life changing injuries and leaving him bed bound for more than six months.

No edge protection, which could have prevented the fall to the ground, had been installed to protect the area where he was working and ultimately fell.

BC Roofing, of Forresters Business Park, Estover Close, Plymouth, pleaded guilty to a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £16,000 and ordered to pay £9,627 in costs.

Following the hearing, a HSE spokesperson said:

“Mr Hopkin suffered major, life-changing injuries and there was a real possibility that the fall could have proved fatal.

“Falls from height are the biggest cause of workplace deaths and it’s crucial that employers make sure work is properly planned, appropriately supervised and that sufficient measures such as edge protection are put in place to control the risks of harm from falls.

“There is no excuse for employers failing to safeguard workers who have to work at height.”

Further information about working safely at height can be found on the HSE website at

Notes to Editors

1.  The 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.

2.  Regulation 4 (1)(c) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 states: “Every employer shall ensure that work at height is carried out in a manner which is so far as is reasonably practicable safe.”

3.  HSE news releases are available at

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