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Roofing contractor ignored safety warning

18 Sep 12 A Monmouth roof refurbishment company has been fined after an employee was injured in a six-metre fall from the roof of a house in Cirencester.

Cheltenham Magistrates' Court heard that 26 year-old Lee Hanson, from South Shields, was using a roof ladder as he replaced tiles when the incident happened on 28 October 2011.

He lost his footing and fell six metres breaking his fall on a bush before he hit the ground. Mr Hanson broke his right wrist and suffered cuts and bruising. He was in hospital for two nights and was unable to return to work for six weeks.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that Mr Hanson's employer, Newlook Roof Coatings Ltd, failed to provide the protection necessary to safeguard workers at height.

The court heard that Newlook Roof Coatings had already been served with a prohibition notice earlier in 2011 after a fitter was found working on a two-storey property in Newnham, Gloucestershire, without any edge protection. The notice prevented any further work anywhere in the country until sufficient safety measures had been put in place by the firm.

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HSE had also given guidance and information on roof work, yet this had not been fully implemented.

Newlook Roof Coatings Ltd of Singleton Court, Wonastow Road, Monmouth, pleaded guilty to breaching sections 4(1)(a) and 4(1)(c) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined a total of £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,500.

Speaking after the prosecution, HSE inspector Sue Adsett said: "Mr Hanson was lucky to have had his fall broken by a bush. Falls from height, and particularly in the construction industries, have caused many deaths and major injuries over the past 12 months.

"This incident could have easily been prevented by providing scaffolding on the property for the duration of the work. It is a reminder to all companies who expect their employees to work at height of their legal duties to manage safety and provide the protection required to safeguard them from falls."

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