Sadly, all too often, we receive a harsh and tragic reminder that we all have to comply with HSE regulations in order to keep our operatives safe.
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Tragic HSE Obligation ReminderMany roofing contractors still fail in this respect and end up paying the price. Our failures sometimes mean that our employees pay an even higher price, as was the case last year for a Kettering-based company.
Today magistrates in Northampton heard that 46-year old roofer, Mark Cooper died when control measures, such as fall protection, edge protection and safe access and egress were all missing from a roof he attended to investigate the cause of a leak.
Lack of planning and co-ordination with the customer by JBS Roofing Ltd were also blamed for the tragic incident.
Mr Cooper died three days after a six metre fall through a fragile surface while replacing a rooflight onto a concrete floor below. JBS were fined £10,000 for breach of regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and ordered to pay costs of £4,987.
After the hearing Health & Safety Executive inspector, Mr Samuel Russell, made the following comments, urging roofing contractors to comply with the regulations set in place to ensure the safety of roofers:
“Tragically, a worker died in what was a preventable incident. This case shows how important it is to have the correct safe systems of work in place for the entire duration of the project. It is not acceptable to use lesser standards in work methods or safety equipment in any situation, but especially when the work requires more permanent solutions for the longevity of the work. The company was experienced in the roofing industry and had undertaken more complex and difficult projects before. Its actions placed roofing workers at great risk. Working at height is still the biggest killer in the construction industry. HSE expects all stakeholders in the roofing industry to work to required standards to prevent further tragedies from happening.”
Our sympathies are with the roofer's family and we echo the plea from the HSE to all roofing contractors.