Preston Magistrates’ Court heard how an employee of T& J Leigh had been helping the joinery contractor Harry Jackson to re-roof an old feed mill building when he fell five metres through a gap, to the concrete floor below causing serious head and arm injuries.
The HSE investigation into the incident, which took place at Ghyll View Farm in Longton on 1 November 2016 found the roof work was not properly planned with no measures in place to prevent or mitigate a fall through or from the roof.
T & J Leigh, a partnership, of Ghyll View Farm pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc act 1974 and has been fined a total of £5,0000 with costs of £2,855.
Harry Jackson of Much Hoole pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc act 1974 and was given a 16 week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work and pay costs of £2,855.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Steven Boyd said: “This avoidable incident resulted in serious injuries, a fall from this distance could easily have been fatal. Roof work should always be properly planned with measures put in place to prevent a dangerous fall. “Companies commissioning roof work should make reasonable checks regarding the competence of a contractor to undertake work at height safely.”
However, NFRC’s Technical Officer, who gave evidence to the All Parliamentary Group for Working at Height, said that building owners should always use a roofing contractor to carry out work.
“Customers and end users should only use competent operatives for carrying out work at height. They should ensure that work is properly planned, and all hazards have been identified and the risks controlled. Some will not have the knowledge to be able to check this, so clear and concise guidance should be written to help them through this process,” he said.