Company fined £40k after worker falls through skylight
A roofing contractor has been fined £40,000 after an employee fell through a skylight while working on a Sandwell Council property.
The employee of Woodhull Roofing Ltd broke several ribs and suffered spinal injuries in the 13-feet fall at the council’s property on Spinners End Industrial Estate, Cradley Heath.
Woodhull Roofing Ltd was contracted to carry out roof repairs at the empty property for Sandwell Council.
The job was to coat over roofing bolts in an asbestos cement roof to seal leaks.
But Dudley Magistrates Court heard how workmen were on the roof with no safety measures in place to prevent them from falling.
While working on the corrugated roof, a worker misplaced his footing while moving a board into another position, causing him to step on the roof light. He fell through the roof onto a concrete floor below. The employee broke several ribs and suffered spinal injuries in the fall on November 9 last year.
The court heard how an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found roof work was not undertaken using the correct precautions – sufficient platforms, coverings, guard rails, netting or similar means of support or protection. Sandwell Council’s health and safety team also carried out a full investigation.
The company, of Stratford Road, Shirley, Solihull, pleaded guilty to breaching regulation nine (two) of the Work and Height Regulations 2005.
It was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay costs £495.27.
HSE inspector Gareth Langston said: “Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work related fatalities in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well known.
“In this case suitable measures such as sufficient platforms, handrails and netting should have been provided to ensure the health and safety of people working at height on the roof.”
Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, Councillor Paul Moore, added: “We expect our contractors to follow the highest health and safety standards.
“Following this incident, the contractor was suspended pending the investigations into what happened.
“The contractor has since been reinstated with measures taken to monitor them more closely.”