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Roofing company in court after worker’s fall

A roofing company based in Leicestershire has landed in court after one of its workers fell over three metres through a fragile roof light.

What happened?

The 59-year-old employee of Stormseal Roofing (Nationwide) Ltd had been over-cladding an asbestos cement sheet roof.

He was carrying out the work from a staging board when he fell through the adjacent roof light onto a mezzanine below. He broke his left shoulder, left elbow and pelvis.

An investigation into the incident found that the firm’s usual method of work was to install netting beneath the roof to catch anyone if they fell. However, in this instance, the mezzanine underneath the area had been used to store tyres so nets were not used, and no alternative had been provided.

Though a risk assessment had been carried out and a method statement put in place, it was issued by someone who had no formal training, lacked sufficient detail and did not accurately reflect the conditions on site.

In addition to this, although Stormseal had contracted a local scaffolder to erect perimeter edge protection around the building, it didn’t extend around a section of the main roof – leaving workers exposed to the risk of falls of around six feet.

What was the outcome?

Stormseal Roofing (Nationwide) Ltd admitted a breach of the Work at Height Regulations, and was fined £16,000 with £1,783 costs.

HSE inspector, Linda-Jane Rigby, said:

“The risks associated with work at height on or near fragile materials
are well known, as are the controls needed to address those risks.

“Stormseal failed to identify the need for alternative measures for preventing
or mitigating the consequences of a fall from the leading edge of either
the staging boards or the newly-fitted roof sheets. As a result a
man suffered painful injuries that could and
should have been prevented.”

If you have been affected by an accident at work, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email

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