Timbnet Rochdale pleaded guilty to charges after an employee fell ten metres to his death

A Rochdale timber company has been fined £25,000 and ordered to pay £8,408 in costs after pleading guilty to two criminal charges brought by the Health and Safety Executive

Timbnet Rochdale pleaded guilty to the charges after an employee fell ten metres to his death through the roof of their factory at Wood Street in Rochdale in October 2004.

David Carter from Widnes, a logistics manager employed by Timbmet Rochdale, suffered fatal injuries after making his way onto the roof with a colleague to fix a blocked gutter. The roof was made of asbestos cement sheeting with Perspex roof lights. Mr Carter stepped onto one of the roof lights and fell.

The HSE investigation into the incident revealed that the company had failed to ensure that the premises were maintained in a safe condition and had not carried out a suitable risk assessment for working on or near fragile materials.

Meanwhile, maintenance firm McFarlane Telfer was fined £5,000 yesterday and ordered to pay £5,556 costs in a prosecution by the HSE after a welder fabricator fell 3.2 metres into a light well and broke his neck.

The incident took place on 24 May 2005 when Mr George St John was replacing the grating over an exterior light well at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, Westminster. He was standing on the grating over a light well at pavement level when it gave way; he fell over three metres to the bottom of the light well. George St John of Bracknell, Berkshire, suffered a broken neck and took five months to recover from his injuries.