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Roofing contractor in court after teenager falls from roof

7 Jul 10 A Carmarthenshire roofing contractor has been prosecuted after a teenage worker fell three metres through a fragile roof, breaking his arm.

A Carmarthenshire roofing contractor has been prosecuted after a teenage worker fell three metres through a fragile roof, breaking his arm.

Apprentice Shaun Jacob, 18, was removing the ridge from a metal sheet roof when a sheet he was standing on buckled, causing him to fall to the ground below.

Jacob's employer, Randell and Janes Roofing Specialists, was prosecuted after the incident by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The firm pleaded guilty to a breach of Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 when it appeared before magistrates in Ammanford.

The company was hired to replace a roof at a single-storey cottage at Derwydd Mansion, Ffairfach, Carmarthenshire, where the incident occurred on 7 October 2009.

HSE's investigation revealed that there had been no specific risk assessment carried out for the job, and there was nothing to break a fall placed beneath the roof as it was being removed. Jacob had no training in using roof ladders, and his supervisor also had no health and safety training.

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Randell and Janes Roofing Specialists was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £1,500 costs.

HSE Inspector Phil Nicolle said: "It is disappointing that a company whose primary business is roof work displayed such significant failings. Employers have a legal requirement to properly plan work at height and ensure it is appropriately supervised, but this did not happen in this case.

"There are several ways to reduce the risk of injury from falls and though the company owned a large number of bean bags which would have served this purpose, they were not used.

"Falls from height are one of the major causes of death and serious injury in the construction industry and this case must serve as a warning to others that jobs need to be planned properly and adequate measures put in place to reduce the risks."

Nearly a quarter of those killed in falls from height are roofers, and in Carmarthenshire in 2008/09, 24 people received injuries that were classed as major or requiring more than three days off work as a result of a fall from height.

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