Randell & Janes Roofing Specialists admits breach of safety led to injury

A Welsh roofing contractor has been fined after a teenage apprentice broke his arm falling through a fragile roof.

Randell & Janes Roofing Specialists of Lampeter in Carmarthenshire was fined £2,000 and told to pay £1,500 costs after a successful prosecution by the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Shaun Jacob, 18, was removing the ridge from a metal sheet roof when a sheet he was standing on buckled, causing him to fall 3m to the ground.

The firm pleaded guilty to a breach of Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 when it appeared before magistrates in Ammanford.

The company was hired to replace a roof at a single-storey cottage at Ffairfach, where the incident occurred on 7 October 2009.

An HSE investigation revealed no specific risk assessment was carried out for the job, and nothing to break a fall was placed beneath the roof. Jacob also had no training in using roof ladders, and his supervisor had no health and safety training.

HSE inspector Phil Nicolle said: “It is disappointing that a company whose primary business is roof work displayed such significant failings.

“There are several ways to reduce the risk of injury from falls and though the company owned a large number of bean bags which would have served this purpose, they were not used.”

Almost one-quarter of those killed in falls from height are roofers.