Employer fined for fragile roof fall

A self employed business man has been fined £16,000 with costs after one of his employees fell through a fragile skylight on a farm building.

The Court heard that the employee had just finished replacing broken tiles on a roof when he stepped onto an adjacent fragile roof to remove debris. He fell several feet through a fragile skylight into a tractor scraper parked below and suffered several injuries including a broken collar bone, broken ribs,  a chip to the spine and head injuries.

The subsequent HSE investigation found there was no suitable and sufficient risk assessment of the job, the employee had been given no specific training for working at height, no information or instruction on the potential risks in relation to roof work.

The employer pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

The HSE inspector involved with the case commented that “Falls through fragile roofs are a well documented hazard when undertaking roof work of any type. This case highlights how a failure to risk assess a job properly and identify the presence of a fragile roof can lead to serious personal injury for workers.”

For information on how to work safely on fragile roofs see our Blog Tackling the Isssue of Fragile Roof Safety

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