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Company fined after worker suffers spinal injuries

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A roofing company has been fined after roof work at height was undertaken unsafely.

Dudley Magistrates’ Court heard how people were working on the roof with no safety measures in place to prevent them from falling.

Woodhull Roofing Ltd was contracted to carry out work for Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council. The work was to coat over roofing bolts in an asbestos cement roof, to seal leaks. Whilst working on the corrugated roof a worker misplaced his footing while moving a board into another position, causing him to step on a roof light. He fell through the roof onto a concrete floor approximately four metres below. He broke several ribs and suffered spinal injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the roof work was not undertaken using the correct precautions i.e. sufficient platforms, coverings, guard rails, netting or similar means of support or protection.

Woodhull Roofing Ltd of Stratford Road, Shirley pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 9 (2) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and has been fined £40,000 and ordered to pay costs of £495.27.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Gareth Langston said “Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work related fatalities in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well known.

“In this case suitable measures such as sufficient platforms, handrails and netting should have been provided to ensure the health and safety of people working at height on the roof”.

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