Friday, 21 June 2013

£300,000 in fines after death from fall through fragile roof

The death of a worker who fell 6m through a fragile roof has resulted in major fines for 2 companies.

The circumstances were:
  • The building was a warehouse in Dover owned by Allied Domecq Spirits and Wine Ltd., trading as CG Hibbert Ltd.
  • Allied Domecq contracted Richard Parker, trading as Ovenden Engineering to fix a leak in the roof and clean the gutters.
  • Allied Domecq had used Richard Parker many times for roof work, as often as every month.
  • There was no safety equipment in place for anyone working on the roof, which was itself fragile.  There were no crawling boards, scaffolding boards, harnesses or nets to protect workers from the risks.
  • Allied Domecq had responsibility for the site but did not ensure that contractors planned their work and carried it out safely and that proper control measures were in place.
  • The worker, Robert Rogers, was on the roof with his brother, Trevor, also an employee of Richard Parker
  • He fell through one of the 80 skylights and hit the concrete floor below. He suffered multiple injuries and died later in hospital.
Richard Parker was fined £30,667 (inc. costs) on 18th June.
Allied Domecq Spirits and Wine Ltd., was fined £277,429 (inc. costs).

The HSE Inspector  said:
"This is a tragic case in which a devoted husband, father and grandfather has lost his life whilst at work. It is sickening that such incidents happen despite the widespread industry knowledge of the risks of working at height and of working on fragile roofs with equally fragile skylights. Mr Rogers’ death was entirely preventable. Mr Parker should have provided his workers with suitable equipment to work on the roof. He failed to do so. Allied Domecq do not contract out their health and safety responsibilities just by contracting out a particular job. It was their duty to ensure there was a safe system of work before the job started and that their contractors followed agreed safe procedures. They too failed to do so."

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