Worker’s roof fall costs firm £25,000

A roofing firm has been fined thousands of pounds after one of its employees narrowly escaped death when he fell from a roof where there was nothing to protect him from falling.

James Hopkin, from Plymouth, was working on the pitched roof of a mid-terraced house in April 2013 when he fell and landed in a neighbouring courtyard, suffering severe head injuries.

The incident was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) which prosecuted Mr Hopkin’s employer, B&C Roofing, at Truro Magistrates Court on 2 September.

The court heard that Mr Hopkin was working on the ridge of the main roof when he fell, sustaining life-threatening and life-changing injuries that left him confined to bed for more than six months.

No edge protection, which could have prevented the fall to the ground, had been installed to protect the area where he was working.

B&C Roofing of Forresters Business Park, Plymouth, pleaded guilty to a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The firm was fined £16,000 and ordered to pay £9,627 in costs.

The HSE said: “Mr Hopkin suffered major, life-changing injuries and there was a real possibility that the fall could have proved fatal. Falls from height are the biggest cause of workplace deaths and it’s crucial that employers make sure work is properly planned, appropriately supervised and that sufficient measures, such as edge protection, are put in place to control the risks of harm from falls.”

According to HSE figures, more than 40 people are killed and 4,000 suffer major injuries every year as a result of workplace falls.

For more information on how Palmers can assist employers with health and safety issues, please contact Lara Murray or if you are facing investigation or prosecution on a health and safety matter, please contact Jeremy Sirrell.