Director sentenced after employee falls six metres

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The director of Globalforce Contracts Ltd, Graham Dyson, has been sentenced to 200 hours of community service after an employee fell from a roof and sustained life-threatening injuries

Chelmsford Magistrates Court heard how, on 7 April 2017, Slawomir Miller, an employee of Globalforce Contracts, was carrying out roof repairs when he fell six metres through a fragile rooflight. Slawomir Miller landed on the concrete floor below and received multiple fractures to his vertebrae, ribs, elbow, wrist and sacral bones. He subsequently spent eight weeks in hospital.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) discovered that Graham Dyson had failed to adequately plan the work or provide proper fall protection to his employees. Slawomir Miller had never carried out roofwork before but was instructed to access the roof via a scissor lift, which he was not trained to use. Dyson allowed Miller to work without supervision, undertaking activities that necessitated walking across a fragile roof composed of asbestos cement sheeting.

Graham Dyson, of Bulphan, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. He was sentenced to 200 hours of community service and ordered to pay costs of £6,848.60 and a victim surcharge of £85.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Adam Hills said: “This incident could so easily have been prevented. Work at height on asbestos cement roofing is dangerous and requires adequate planning, organisation, training and equipment.

“The director was aware of the need to access and repair the roof. He could have provided work at height training and equipment to workers, or simply contracted the task out to a professional roofing company.

“Directors should be aware that they may be held personally accountable if they endanger the lives of their employees.”

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