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Roofer falls after lack of planning

7 Aug 15 A Norwich roofing contractor has been fined after his employee fell seven metres through a roof on which he was working.

The roof showing the hole created by the fall through it
The roof showing the hole created by the fall through it

Sole trader Leighton Johnson and his 26-year-old employee were completing a job on a fragile roof at a factory in King’s Lynn on 11th August 2014.

The employee was kneeling on a scaffolding board on top of the roof when he fell forward and smashed through a roof light. He fell seven metres and landed on a pallet stacked with ceramic mugs below.

King’s Lynn magistrates heard this week how the defendant had failed to plan the job properly. There was no fall prevention or fall mitigation system in place, nor were harnesses or any other safety equipment used.

Leighton Johnson of Hare Close, Mulbarton, was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £3,415 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to breaches of Regulations 4(1) and 9(2) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. He must also pay a £300 victim surcharge.

HSE investigating inspector Paul Unwin said: “This incident caused serious injuries that could have cost a young man his life or prevented him from being able to walk again.

“The risks of working on fragile roofs are well-known but so too are the ways to manage those risks. Sadly, HSE inspectors too often find blatant disregard of easily-accessible guidance, which frequently results in life-changing injuries.”

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