Roofing specialist fined after worker’s fall from height

A roofing firm in Manchester has been fined £20,000 after an employee fractured his back falling through a roof during a repair job, the health and safety watchdog has said.

The Hightech Roofing N/W Limited worker fell about 4.8 metres through a roof light during the incident in Blackburn on 3 August 2022.

The employee suffered a broken foot and ankle, as well as a fractured vertebra, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

HSE roofAn HSE investigation found that Hightech Roofing had “failed to ensure the work on the roof was properly planned, appropriately supervised and carried out in a manner that was as safe as reasonably practicable”, the agency said in a statement.

The roofing firm installed orientated strand boards so that workers could move around the roof, but they did not cover the roof lights (pictured, right), which led to the worker falling, the HSE said.

The company also failed to assess specific risks “arising from the need to work on or over fragile surfaces and failed to consider risks arising from employees working in proximity to the edge of the roof”.

Hightech Roofing also failed to install edge protection at the gable end of the building, the HSE said.

Hightech Roofing N/W Limited, of Grimshaw Street, Failsworth, Manchester, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

The firm was handed a £20,000 fine on 9 May at Preston Magistrates’ Court and ordered to pay £5,858.46 in costs.

HSE inspector Sam Eves said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

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