Roofer prosecuted for safety failings

An Oxfordshire roofer has been fined for safety failings after he put himself and another worker at risk of a four metre fall while carrying out pointing and tiling on a roof in Woodstock.

Oxford Magistrates’ Court heard (8 June) that Rory Wootton, who was trading as Advanced Roof Tec, was working with his colleague and partner on the job in Manor Way on 17 March 2014.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Mr Wootton after a complaint from a member of the public prompted an inspection of the work.

HSE found there were no safety measures installed at the property to prevent either worker from falling from the sloping and moss-covered roof. In addition, passers-by to the front of the house were left in danger of being hit by any falling building materials.

Although no-one was injured HSE told the court the absence of suitable protection exposed the men to a possible four-metre fall, which could have resulted in death or serious injury.

Rory Wootton, of Barnard Gate, Witney, Oxfordshire, was fined £3,000 with £1,236 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

After the hearing HSE Inspector Peter Snelgrove said:

“Despite the obvious risk of a serious fall, the approach taken to safety by Rory Wootton was unacceptable.

“The firm the two men operated was on its first of only two jobs it carried out as Mr Wootton decided to end his rather short time in the roofing industry.

Working on a roof can be dangerous. Falls account for more deaths and serious injuries in construction than anything else and roofers account for nearly a quarter of those people killed.

“Roofers must ensure they properly plan work at height,select the right access equipment, and take appropriate steps to minimise the risks to keep themselves and members of the public safe.“

More information about safety when working 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 
  2. Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 states: ‘It shall be the duty of every self-employed person to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that he and other persons (not being his employees) who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.’

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