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A scaffolder died when he fell eight metres through a fragile roof light while working on top of a chemical store at a creamery in Cornwall.
Two companies were today sentenced over the incident at Dairy Crest premises at Davidstow near Camelford on 4 November, 2008.
Truro Crown Court heard today that Michael Stone, 44, of Hartley, Plymouth, was erecting a scaffold at the premises when the incident happened.
The court heard self-employed Mr Stone was contracting for specialist fabrication firm Dartmeet Services which was contracted to creamery owners Dairy Crest to replace the roof on the chemical store.
The building had fragile rooflights but Mr Stone had not been made aware of this and no signs or markings were evident to indicate the danger. The HSE investigation found Mr Stone and his employees were not requested to sign in to gain access to the roof and no-one at the site checked his risk assessment for the work.
Mr Stone landed on a concrete floor when he fell, suffering multiple injuries. He died in hospital seven days later.
Dairy Crest Ltd was fined £75,000 and ordered to pay £20,000 costs for breaches of health and safety legislation in the case brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The other defendant also in court for sentencing was the main contractor, Dartmeet Services, were fined £30,000 with £10,000 costs.
HSE Inspector, Barry Trudgian, said:
“This is yet another tragic fatality caused by working on a roof with fragile rooflights where the risks are well known. In this case, no-one involved took proper control to make Mr Stone aware of the issue.
“There should have been signs on the building indicating the presence of fragile rooflights and any work on the roof should have been subject to a thorough risk assessment and supervision.
“Simple, straightforward, common sense procedures could have saved Mr Stone’s life.”
Dartmeet Services Ltd of Union Street, Newton Abbot, Devon pleaded guilty to breaches of Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. Dairy Crest Ltd of Esher, Surrey pleaded guilty to breaches of Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and Regulation 9(3) (a) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
Further information on working near rooflights can be found on the HSE website at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/falls/casestudies/rooflights.htm
A Trafford firm has appeared in court after workers were spotted taking down scaffolding without safety measures to prevent them being injured in a fall.
They were witnessed working on the outside of a row of terraced shops on Ripponden Road in Oldham on 4 September 2012 by a passing inspector from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Trafford Magistrates' Court heard Stretford Scaffolding Ltd had been hired to dismantle the scaffolding after it had been used by another company for a roofing project.
Neither of the two men standing on the scaffolding platforms were wearing harnesses, despite working up to six metres above the ground, and one of them was not a trained scaffolder. He should therefore not have been allowed to work on a partially dismantled section.
The court was told there were also no guard rails on part of the scaffolding to prevent workers falling. The HSE inspector issued an immediate Prohibition Notice, ordering the men to come down from the scaffolding until they were given suitable safety equipment by their employer.
Stretford Scaffolding Ltd, of Ciss Lane in Urmston, received a 12-month conditional discharge and was ordered to pay costs of £1,849 after admitting a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Sandra Tomlinson said:
"We are regularly called out to incidents where people have been seriously injured or even killed as a result of a fall from height. That's why it's vital scaffolding firms make sure safety is their top priority.
"Stretford Scaffolding should never have allowed the scaffolding to be taken down without making sure workers could do the job safely. The most sensible way of achieving this would have been to use guard rails and harnesses.
"The firm also put the life of one of the men at risk by allowing him to work on a partially dismantled section, despite the fact that he wasn't a trained scaffolder.
"This case should act as a warning to other scaffolding firms that they risk being prosecuted if they put lives at risk."
Advice on how to prevent workplace falls is available at www.hse.gov.uk/falls.