Three companies have been fined a combined total over £5000,000 after a workman fell over 7m through a fragile roof being replaced in November 2014.
Chelmsford Crown Court heard how the workman was standing on the fragile roof when the asbestos sheeting gave way and he fell to the concrete floor blow. Fall arrest safety netting or other protective equipment was not provided and he suffered a hematoma on the brain.
HSE found that the company appointed as CDM Principal Contractor was unable to act effectively in the role because of their inexperience of working in construction. The company could not effectively oversee the other contractors.
Relied too heavily on verbal briefings
None of the parties involved put in place safety measures for 40% of the roof which was not protected with fall arrest safety netting below. The parties relied too heavily on the verbal briefings to workers regarding where the netting was situated rather than putting in place effective safety measures for the whole roof.
HSE inspector Adam Hills said:
“The dangers of working on fragile roofs are well documented. Every year too many people are killed or seriously injured due to falls from height while carrying out this work.
Work at height requires adequate planning, organisation and communication between all parties. This incident was entirely preventable and the injured man is lucky to be alive.”