Roofing firms prosecuted for skylight fatality

Unfortunately the press and internet are yet again covering another tragic story of a fatal fall through a fragile skylight that could very easily have been avoided through correct planning and product selection.

Two roofing companies and one of their directors have been fined following the death of a worker who fell through a plastic skylight while working on the roof of an industrial premises in South Wales.  The HSE’s investigation into the incident identified that the work at height on the roof had not been properly planned, managed or monitored and that the control measures in place to prevent a fall were inadequate.

SPAN Roofing Contractors Limited pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13(2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 which requires contractors to plan, manage and monitor construction work that they’re either doing themselves or under their control, and to ensure that the work is carried out without risk to health and safety.  As a result of this breach, the company was fined £65,000 and ordered to pay costs of £37,500.

B & T Roofing Solutions Limited, pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was fined a total of £20,000.  Section 3 (1) states that “it shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.” 

One of B & T Roofing Solutions' directors also pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974  and was given a 160 hours community service order. 

B & T Roofing Solutions and the director were ordered to pay costs of £32,500 between them.

Following the hearing, the HSE’s Principal Inspector stated that: “Falls through fragile roof lights and roofs are one of the biggest causes of fatalities and serious injury in the construction industry.  The issue is well known in the construction industry and there is plenty of guidance available” He then concluded by saying that the tragic death “could easily have been avoided had the work been planned, managed and monitored effectively and simple and cost effective control measures put in place.”