Lancashire-based firm in court over death of roof worker
A loft conversion firm in Darwen, Lancashire, has been prosecuted after an employee died following a fall from a partially completed conversion project in 2012.
Graham Redfearn was working on a large loft conversion in Chorlton, Manchester, for Newhey Loft Conversions Ltd when he fell to his death. Minshull Street Crown Court heard how the 56-year-old had been carrying a roll of roofing felt onto a newly built dormer window when his ladder collapse. Mr Redfearn was thrown over the scaffolding handrail and into a neighbouring garden. He died of his injuries seventeen days later.
The court found that the scaffolding on the site had not been built high enough. Newhey Loft Conversions was found guilty of two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. Consequently the firm was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay £20,000 towards the cost of the prosecution.
HSE Inspector Matt Greenly gave a statement after the hearing:
increase the height of the original roof to fit dormer windows,
although the scaffolding was adequate for the start of the
works, once the new and much higher dormer windows
were built by Newhey, they should have increased
the height of the scaffolding.(…)
“It is clear that had Newhey simply raised the scaffold height, at a cost
of only a few hundred pounds, Mr Readfern would never have
suffered a fall of this scale and would more than likely
still be with his family and friends to this day.”
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Source: Health and Safety Executive