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Mon June 27 2022

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Jail sentences handed down after roofer's fatal fall

27 May Two men have been fined and received suspended jail sentences over a fatal accident on a construction site that happened six and a half years ago.

Individuals, rather than any corporate entities, were put in the dock at Newcastle Crown Court having pleaded guilty to health & safety breaches.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how, on 16th November 2015, a roofer fell through fragile asbestos cement roof panels while carrying out over-cladding work.

He fell more than five metres to the ground and suffered injuries that subsequently proved fatal.

The incident occurred on an industrial building on the West Chirton (South) Industrial Estate in North Shields.

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An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that the method of work was unsafe and there were inadequate precautions to prevent or mitigate against falls from or through the roof as well as an effective assessment of risk, selection and use of appropriate work equipment, safe system of work and effective supervision.

Ian Blacklin of Capheaton, Newcastle upon Tyne, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3(2) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and Regulation 8(2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regs 2015. He was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months.

Dennis Spence of Denton, Newcastle upon Tyne, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 3(1) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Regulation 6(1) of the work at Height Regulations 2005. He was sentenced to 14 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months with £1,800 costs.

HSE inspector Andrea Robbins said after the hearing: “In this case there was a significant failure to plan and manage the over-cladding of roofs over fragile roofing material. Roof work should only be undertaken by people who have the necessary skills knowledge and experience, assessing the associated risks, selecting and using appropriate equipment to prevent/mitigate falls and ensure effective supervision is in place.”

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