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Contractor and director fined as a result of brick-layer death

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Contractor and director fined as a result of brick-layer death

A Yorkshire roofing firm and its Director have been prosecuted after a self-employed brick-layer fell to his death though a fragile roof-light, when he suffered fatal head injuries.
The roofing contractor for North Yorkshire County Council and one of its Directors, had engaged the worker to carry out necessary brickwork on the roof, as part of a scheme to add insulation and re-felt it.
He had been kneeling on the roof working and as he stood up he fell backwards through a roof-light and into the room two metres below. He was taken to hospital by air ambulance but died later from his injuries.
An investigation carried out by the Health and Safety Executive investigation found roofing contractors had prepared a construction phase plan which stated that before work was carried out, the plastic domes of all roof-lights needed to be removed and the apertures boarded over to prevent falls, but when roofers accessed the roof it was found that the domes could not be easily removed. The difficulty in removing the roof-lights was discussed with the workforce, and it was decided that works could progress without any covering of the roof-lights.
The roofing contractors pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and were fined £80,000 and ordered to pay £39,381.32 in costs.
The Director pleaded guilty in his role as Director of the company to a breach of section 37(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £7000.

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