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Tue May 21 2024

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Roofing contractor's shortcuts exposed

6 days A company in Manchester has been fined £20,000 after an employee fell through a roof and suffered serious injuries.

An employee fell through the skylight and broke their back
An employee fell through the skylight and broke their back

While repairing a roof on a building in Blackburn last August, a 24-year-old employee of Hightech Roofing N/W Limited fell nearly five metres through a roof light, breaking several bones including their vertebrae.

A Health & Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that Hightech Roofing had failed to ensure the work on the roof was properly planned, appropriately supervised and carried out in a manner that was as safe as reasonably practicable. While on the roof, operatives used orientated strand boards as crawl boards to move around the roof. The boards were placed where employees needed to step, but did not cover the roof lights, which led to the fall.

The company also failed to assess the specific risks arising from the need to work on or over fragile surfaces and failed to consider risks arising from employees working in proximity to the edge of the roof. No edge protection had been installed at the gable end of the building.

Hightech Roofing N/W Limited, of Grimshaw Street, Failsworth, Manchester, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. It was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £5,858.46 in costs at Preston Magistrates’ Court on 9th May 2024.

HSE inspector Sam Eves said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

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