Roofing worker's injury leads to guilty plea

A Guildford company and tradesman have been fined £11,000 following an investigation by the HSE.

Kelly's Storage, a removals and storage company, and Brian Graham, a self-employed engineer and draughtsman trading as CB Draughting, were prosecuted after a worker fell while at Kelly's Storage premises in 2005.

Two workers had been on the roof, one undoing the old roof sheets and the other cutting the 12m-long roof sheets. One roof worker stepped onto a loose sheet and fell. There was no system in place to prevent the worker from falling or to mitigate the effect of the fall, and he fell over five metres and sustained a fractured hip and a broken elbow.

Kelly's Storage Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994 and was fined £2,000. The firm also pleaded guilty to breaching the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and were fined £8,000 and a total of £5,000 costs.

Brian Graham (trading as C B Draughting) also pleaded guilty to flouting the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £1,000 and £1,000 costs.

HSE inspector Abosede Ogunsekan said: “Roofwork is a dangerous task and accounts for around one in five construction fatalities and a lot more serious injuries and permanent disabilities every year. Most roofwork accidents are preventable with adequate planning and management control."

“In this case, Kelly's Storage Ltd had substantial influence and contractual control over how the project should have been run. Designers like Brian Graham should acknowledge the limitations of their competencies and experience and the impact their decision can have on other persons, and should not work in areas where they have no knowledge.”