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Sun February 28 2021

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Builders fined for roof fall

11 Dec 14 A North London building firm has been fined after a carpenter broke his collarbone and a rib when he fell through an unprotected rooflight opening.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted Brent-based Charles Henderson Construction Ltd at Westminster Magistrates’ Court (10th December) after finding that the roof openings and the roof edges were unprotected.

The court heard how the 43-year-old carpenter, from Camden, was carrying insulation material across the single-storey roof of an extension they were building when he fell through the opening. He landed on open joists on the ground floor roughly 2.5m below.

HSE’s investigation into the incident, which occurred on 20th March 2014, identified a lack of suitable measures in place to prevent workers falling from height. This was attributable to the firm’s lack of managerial health and safety competence, and its failure to put into practice the findings of its risk assessment.

Charles Henderson Construction Ltd., of North Circular Road, Brent, London, was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £1,118 in costs after admitting a breach of the Work at Height Regulations.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Stephron Baker Holmes said: “This was a preventable incident. The risks of falling during roof work are easily understood, even from a single-storey level. The company needed to do something about these risks, but it failed to put in place the safeguards that are standard practice in the industry as well as common sense – edge protection, covers over roof openings.”

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