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Safety fines for two roofing firms

25 Jul 11 A roofing firm has been find more than £10,000 after one of its employees was injured when he fell through the roof at a Stockport school.

A worker on the roof of the Kearsley Fish Bar where Alex Morrisey put lives at risk
A worker on the roof of the Kearsley Fish Bar where Alex Morrisey put lives at risk

In a separate incident, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) took legal action against a Bolton roofer after he put lives at risk on the roof of a fish and chip shop.

Ploughcroft Building Services was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following the Stockport incident when the worker fell through the roof at Reddish Vale Technology College on 14 June 2010. Ploughcroft Building Services, admitted of breaching Regulation 9 (2) (a) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 by failing to prevent the worker falling through the skylight. The company, of Bullford Garage in Brighouse, was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £10,937 in prosecution costs on 22 July 2011.

Trafford Magistrates' Court heard the 24-year-old Chris Buck, from Brighouse in West Yorkshire, was helping to make the roof waterproof when he tripped on some cables and fell through a fragile skylight. He fell 2.6m to the concrete floor below at the secondary school on Reddish Vale Road in Stockport. He suffered injuries to his back and neck, and has been unable to return to work.

"Due to the accident I now have to consider other careers. My confidence to do this job again is not there any more and I feel I would be frightened and scared to get on a roof or even climb a ladder," he said.

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The court was told that the company had failed to provide a cover or barrier for the skylight, despite being told to do so in a report by a health and safety consultant less than six weeks earlier.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Sandra Tomlinson said: "This incident could easily have resulted in one of Ploughcroft's employees being paralysed or even killed. Despite surviving, the injuries he's suffered mean he has lost the confidence to be able to return to work as a roofer. There were children walking under the skylight just minutes before he fell through it, so other individuals were also put at risk by Ploughcroft's actions."

The HSE also acted when a Bolton roofer after he put lives at risk on the roof of a fish and chip shop. The HSE took legal action against Alex Morrisey after he and a labourer were spotted balancing dangerously on the roof of the Kearsley Fish Bar on Manchester Road in the town. Alex Morrisey of Trafford Street in Farnworth admitted two breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 by failing to take action to stop workers being injured in a fall, and by not preventing materials falling to the ground below.  He was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £800 in prosecution costs.

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