Conservatory installer in court having not ‘learnt lessons’ from previous falls from height
Friday 2nd September 2016
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Two employees of Phil Coppell were repairing a conservatory roof at a property in Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside, in June last year when one lost his footing.
The 59-year-old fell 2.5 m onto the patio below and sustained a bleed on the brain from a fractured skull, and a shattered eye socked.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said measures were not in place to prevent workers falling from height. It served Phil Coppell with an improvement notice, after which the company implemented a barrier for use as edge protection.
The executive also found that Phil Coppell had not reported two previous incidents in 2013, when the same employee fell off a roof and lost consciousness and another worker broke several ribs when he fell through a skylight.
The company pleaded guilty to breaching reg 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations, for failing to prevent workers being injured by falls, and reg 3(1) of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) 1995 and reg 4(1) of RIDDOR 2013 for failing to report an injury as a result of an accident.
The company was fined £40,280 and ordered to pay costs of £1,465.
"This incident could have been avoided if the company had learnt lessons from two previous similar incidents in 2013," said HSE inspector Christine McGlynn. "Employees of this company were exposed to the risks of falls over a prolonged period of time."
Father of seven Lance Davies, 46, was working on the roof of an industrial premises in Caerphilly, south Wales on 15 December 2011. He fell more than 7 m through the roof light and died. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said the work at height control measures at the Crumlin site were inadequate.
Manchester-based Phil Coppell specialises in conservatory roof installations. On 29 June 2015 two employees were repairing a tiled conservatory roof at a property in Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside. The job required them to take off the tiles, peel back a waterproof membrane and replace a piece of plywood that was sagging.
A member of the public complained to Walltopia, which is based in Letnitsa, Bulgaria, that its employees were working on a pallet balanced on a telehandler’s forks during construction of a high ropes adventure course at Markeaton Park, Derby. The company promised to stop the unsafe practices, but failed to do so. The member of the public reported the issue to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which found employees working on a section of open-edged roof 11 m off the ground. The workers climbed on to the roof from the basket of a cherry picker.
Montway was responsible for the demolition of a two-storey detached house in Golders Green, London. Labourers Ioan Vancia from Romania and Albert Sejdijaj from Kosovo had been instructed in English to tear down the roof and clear away the demolition debris. Vancia had a limited command of the language, while Sejdijaj spoke reasonable English, but did not speak Romanian.
Colin Marshall, the founder of Colin Marshall Scaffolding, and his son and business partner, James, have been prosecuted for the death of employee Roger Stoddern. The worker fell 7 m from the flat roof of a property in St Mawes, Cornwall, while he was dismantling scaffolding on 24 June 2013. Stoddern had been stacking 3 m roofing sheets and the safety railing had been removed so he could access the roof to carry out the task. Truro Crown Court heard that one of the men replaced the rail afterwards to mislead the Health and Safety Executive.