£50,000 fine in roof fall case

A Preston-based egg production company and a joinery sub-contractor have been fined after a worker fell through a roof.

Preston Magistrates’ Court heard how an employee of T & J Leigh had been helping the joinery contractor Harry Jackson to re-roof an old feed mill building when he fell five metres through a gap, to the concrete floor below causing serious head and arm injuries.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into the incident, which took place at Ghyll View Farm in Longton on November 1, 2016, found the roof work was not properly planned with no measures in place to prevent or mitigate a fall through or from the roof.

T & J Leigh (a partnership) of Ghyll View Farm pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc act 1974, and has been fined a total of £50,000 with costs of £2,855.32.

Harry Jackson pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc act 1974, and was given a 16-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work and pay costs of £2,855.32.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Steven Boyd, said: “This avoidable incident resulted in serious injuries, a fall from this distance could easily have been fatal.

“Roof work should always be properly planned with measures put in place to prevent a dangerous fall. Companies commissioning roof work should make reasonable checks regarding the competence of a contractor to undertake work at height safely.”