10th February 2023
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Two companies have been fined more than £380k after a worker fell through the roof of a retail unit in Milton Keynes.
The roofer, who was 32 at the time, fell more than 20 feet through a roof light on to a suspended ceiling at Unit 103, Watling Street, on 19 July 2019. The man landed on the floor below and broke his ankle.
Brackley Industrial Maintenance Ltd, a specialist roofing contractor, had been contracted by principal contractor STP Construction Ltd to carry out roofing works. This work was part of a wider construction project at a retail unit used by Matalan and Carpet Right in Bletchley. The roofer was required to work on the roof of the building and carry out work on roof lights.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found there was ineffective planning of access arrangements to and on the roof by STP Construction Ltd, resulting in workers having to pass fragile materials before they could make use of the fall arrest system installed there. The investigation also highlighted that Brackley Industrial Maintenance Ltd failed to ensure the provision and use of physical means to either prevent or arrest falls.
STP Construction Ltd, of Woodside Walk, Whinfield Industrial Estate, Rowlands Gill, Tyne And Wear, pleaded guilty to contravening Regulation 13(1) of Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. The company was fined £320,000 and ordered to pay £8,538 in costs at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on 10 February 2023.
Brackley Industrial Maintenance Ltd, of Avon Dassett, Southam, Warwickshire, pleaded guilty to contravening Regulation 9 (2) of the Work at Height Regulations. The company was fined £68,000 and also ordered to pay £8,538 in costs at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on 10 February 2023.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Jenny Morris said: “This incident could have easily been avoided. Assessing and planning work at height is essential to ensuring that suitable and sufficient measures are in place to prevent falls from height.
“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”