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Structural steelwork co in the frame for £150k fine over roofer’s spinal injury

A company that fabricates steel-framed buildings must pay £150,000 after a worker fell through roof sheeting and fractured his spine.


An employee of Northern Structures was removing roof sheets from a timber-framed farm building on 20 September 2017 when he fell through one of the asbestos cement roof sheets, landing 4 m below.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that, although Northern Structures had provided a risk assessment and method statement to remove the roof sheets from below the frame, the method was then changed so the worker had to stand on the roof and remove the sheets. 
Northern Structures, of Amble Industrial Estate, Amble, Northumberland pleaded guilty to breaching regs 4(1)(a) and 4(1)(c) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on 12 September. It must also pay £792 costs.  
The company, which has supplied structural steelwork in the northeast of England since 1976, undertakes specialist builds and provides bespoke services in the commercial, industrial and residential sector and the agricultural and equine sector.
HSE inspector Loren Wilmot said the construction firm should have used alternative access equipment to undertake the work.
“This would have negated the need for the employee to be on the roof of the building, therefore eliminating the risk of a fall from height through the roof sheets,” she said.


Nic Warburton is acting editor, IOSH Magazine

 Nick Warburton is acting editor of IOSH Magazine. He is a former editor of SHP and has also worked on Local Authority Waste and Recycling and Environmental Health Practitioner

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