Roofing company fined after 24-year-old worker fractures back

Roofing company fined
The roofing company was fined after boards failed to cover the roof lights, which led to the worker’s fall (Image: HSE)

A Manchester roofing company has been fined £20,000 after a worker fell through a roof and suffered serious injuries.

The 24-year-old, employed by Hightech Roofing N/W Ltd, was repairing a roof on a building in Blackburn when they fell approximately 4.8m through a roof light on 3 August 2022.

The employee suffered a broken foot and ankle as well as fractured vertebrae.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found Hightech Roofing N/W failed to ensure the work on the roof was properly planned, appropriately supervised and carried out in a manner that was as safe as reasonably practicable.

While on the roof, operatives used orientated strand boards as crawl boards to move around. The boards were placed where employees needed to step, but did not cover the roof lights, which led to the worker’s fall.

Failure to assess risks

The company also failed to assess the specific risks arising from the need to work on or over fragile surfaces and failed to consider risks arising from employees working in proximity to the edge of the roof. No edge protection had been installed at the gable end of the building.

HSE guidance states those carrying out roof work must be trained, competent and instructed in the use of the precautions required. A method statement is the common way to help manage work on roofs and communicate the precautions to those involved.

Hightech Roofing N/W Limited, of Grimshaw Street, Failsworth, Manchester, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. It was fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £5,858.46 in costs at Preston Magistrates’ Court on 9 May 2024.

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