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Fri May 07 2021

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Suspended jail sentence for unsafe roofer

14 Sep 17 A roofing contractor has been handed a suspended jail sentence after workers were left at risk of falling from unprotected roof edges.

The failures of C Smith Roofing were spotted by health and safety professionals, who could see the unsafe scaffolding from their office window.

Chris Smith was given an eight-month prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to complete 200 hours of community service.

Leeds Crown Court heard that in November 2015 Mr Smith was contracted to carry out some roof repairs to a guest house in Northallerton. Scaffolding was erected along the full length of the roof at the front of the property.

However, due to the presence of a conservatory structure at the rear, the company only erected a partial scaffold at the rear. It did not take the conservatory into account, which left approximately two thirds of the rear roof edge unprotected.

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In February 2016, nearby health and safety risk managers at North Yorkshire County Council could see the project from their office window. They had concerns about the safety of the two workers on a roof where there were inadequate fall protection measures.

In a prosecution brought by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), Chris Smith of Malpas Road, Northallerton pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6 (3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. As well as his suspended prison sentence and unpaid work requirement, he was also ordered to pay £5,800 costs.

HSE inspector Tania Shiffer said after the hearing: “Work at height, such as roof work, is a high-risk activity that accounts for a high proportion of workplace serious injuries and fatalities each year. There were not suitable or sufficient measures in place to prevent the risk of a person falling a distance liable to cause personal injury.”

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