A roofer was fatally injured when he fell six metres whilst working on a replacement roof at a property in Kirkdale, Liverpool.

Liverpool Crown Court heard how on 22 May 2017, the roofer was completing snagging work on a replacement roof. The worker had accessed a part of the old roof made of fragile asbestos cement sheets, which gave way. He fell through the sheets to the ground below sustaining fatal injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the area accessed did not have safety nets fitted and the building occupier failed to take reasonably practicable measures to reduce the risk to those working on the roof.

Owners of the building Pearsons Glass, of Maddrell Street, Liverpool, pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, sections 3. The company was fined £80,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,656.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Andrew McGrory said: “The risks from working on fragile surfaces are well known.

“Businesses have a responsibility to ensure that the contractor they select to undertake any construction work devise safe methods of doing so, which should include providing the necessary information to their workers and ensuring that they are adequately supervised.”

The prosecution of the roofing contractor is ongoing.

As reported by the HSE Media Centre.

In many respects this should serve as yet another ‘wake up’ call to business that they simply cannot delegate their responsibilities and hide behind contractors in the belief that they have paid them to do a job and it is of no concern to them how the end result is achieved.

It is tragic that such incidents are still occurring with regularity and as recognised by the Court, businesses and organisations must not only understand but also fulfil their obligations with regard to health and safety legislation.

The provision of appropriate training is key in this area both in understanding your obligations and in the development/implementation of the necessary systems that need to be put in place to provide for them.

The IOSH Managing Safely course is an excellent first step in understanding business/organisational responsibility with regard to health and safety, for managers at all levels.  We would recommend that businesses of all sizes consider it as a stepping stone in providing for their responsibilities and the development of their staff.

Goldcross are specialist providers of the IOSH Managing Safely course and our course schedule can be viewed here.