Contractor is injured severely in roof collapse

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A self-employed builder has been fined after contractor is injured whilst working for him on a roof that collapsed on a construction site in Cobham, Surrey

Brighton Magistrates’ Court heard that on the 15 April 2019 the contractor in question was standing on the roof of a partially demolished single-story extension of a domestic building undergoing refurbishment.

The roof suddenly crumbled to the ground and the contractor was injured.

Injuries

His right leg was worst affected and included fracturing to his tibia and fibular.

The severity of the damage to his leg meant that it had to be amputated above the knee.

The Health and Safety Executive investigated and discovered the following:

  • there was no safe system of work in place
  • the demolition work had not been adequately planned
  • the stability of the structure during the demolition work had not been assessed
  • there were no measures in place to prevent falls from the roof

The court hearing

Patrick Sheehan of Surrey, trading as Mastercraft Building Services, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (2) of the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974.

Sheehan was ordered to pay a fine of £20,000 and costs of £4,383.

Following the hearing, HSE inspector Leah Sullivan made the following comments:

“The contractor’s injuries were life-changing and he could have easily been killed.

“This serious incident and the devastating effects on his life could have been avoided if basic safe systems of work been put in place.

“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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