Roofing Work News Roundup – March 2017
Here at D-marc we’re in the business of making work at height, namely roofing work, safer with our innovative rooftop barrier solutions. As such, we keep a close eye on the news for stories about roof work and working at height in general so that we can provide our readers with useful and relevant information that will keep them up to date with what’s going on in our industry. Once a month, we’ll publish a roundup of the news that affects our sector in one easy place so that readers can get a quick overview of the most important happenings over the past month. If you have anything to add or know of any stories that you’d like us to cover, please don’t hesitate to let us know, either by email, on our Facebook Page or on our Twitter feed.
First up is a report about an HGV driver who suffered a fall while helping to clean the roof of his company’s premises in Kent. While a MEWP had been hired in order to access the roof and carry out the cleaning work, the unfortunate driver (there were two of them tasked with cleaning the roof) stepped onto the roof in order to clean sections that could not be reached from the access equipment. The metal roof featured strips of skylights which were dirty, making them similar in colour to the rest of the roof and rendering them hard to see. While walking along a section of the roof, the driver fell through a skylight 4.5 metres to the floor below. The driver spent a month in hospital recovering from the significant injuries sustained and the haulage company was fined £215,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10.622. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the incident was easily preventable and it would have been much cheaper for the haulage company to hire a specialist cleaning company to carry out the work safely.
An inquest is underway into the death of a 44 year old construction worker who slipped and fell from a roof he was helping to construct. The roof was slippery due to rain causing Neil Phillips to slide down the roof and off the edge, despite the waist high safety rail that had been installed because the upright beams had a 1ft gap between them.
Meanwhile a building contractor has been given a suspended sentence and fined £3,000 after an employee died as a result from a fall from a shed roof in Portadown. The Bulgarian father of two and his colleague were not provided with any proper work clothes or safety harnesses, nor was scaffolding or other protective equipment supplied in order to protect them. Despite the efforts of his colleague to grab him, Mr. Hristanov fell to his death. The builder pleaded guilty to manslaughter by gross negligence at Craigavon Crown Court and the farmer on whose property the accident occurred was also fined £1.500 for breaching health and safety regulations.
These stories serve to demonstrate just how vital it is to ensure that any rooftop work is properly planned and the correct type of safety barriers are installed and personal/collective protective equipment provided.