Roofing supplies firm fined £20,000 after workers fall from height

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A roofing supplies firm and its director have been handed fines after two workers fell from a tower scaffold, sustaining serious injuries

Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard how on 27 November 2018, two employees of roofing supplies firm, Rooffabs Direct Ltd had been working with Paul McMahon, the sole director of the company, to install signage at retail premises on Bury New Road, Prestwich. The employees used a tower scaffold to carry out the work.

During the afternoon, when McMahon was no longer on-site, the tower scaffold moved away from the building and the two employees fell approximately two metres, suffering fractures to their legs and ankles.

HSE investigation

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the tower scaffold had not been erected by someone with suitable training. There were missing guard rails on the scaffold and no outriggers in place at the time of the incident.

The roofing supplies firm also failed to report the incident as required by the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR).

Rooffabs Direct Limited pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and section 3(1) of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Regulations 2013. The company was fined £20,000.

Paul McMahon pleaded guilty under section 37 to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and section 3(1) of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Regulations 2013.

McMahon was ordered to complete 100 hours community service, pay compensation orders of £500 each for the two injured persons and was ordered to pay costs of £1,000.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector David Norton, said: “Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities and severe injuries in this country. The risks associated with work at height are well known.

“This incident could so easily have been avoided by having a suitably trained person put up the tower scaffold and ensuring that the required guardrails and outriggers were in place.”

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