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Barnsley roofing firm in dock after fall

01 April 2019

A ROOFING company was sentenced for safety breaches after a worker fell about three metres through a roof light and suffered a fractured pelvis and spinal injuries.

Leeds Magistrates' Court heard how, on 17 March 2016, a self-employed roofer, working for PNR Roofing and Building Services Limited (PNR), was on a roof laying wooden ‘lats’ and roofing felt, when he fell through a sky light that was covered with felt. PNR was subcontracted to carry out roof work at Globe Mills in Slaithwaite.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that whilst PNR initially provided air bags as a means of mitigating any falls by employees, the air bags had been moved to remove debris and the worker hit the floor instead.

PNR Roofing and Building Services Ltd of Park View, Shafton, Barnsley pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and has been fined £20,000 and ordered to pay £1,100 in costs.

 After the hearing, HSE inspector Chris Tilley commented, “Falls from height through fragile surfaces and skylights remain one of the most common causes of work related fatalities in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well known.

“This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply adopting reasonably practicable safe working practices such as using netting instead of relying on fall bags”

The company has added, “In sentencing PNR to a fine of £20,000 District Judge Fanning noted that the business had moved quickly to improve health and safety standards and that they had an otherwise impeccable safety record. The company was given full credit for pleading guilty at the first opportunity and the level of fine was adjusted to reflect the assistance that PNR had provided to HSE throughout the case. PNR were represented by Ison Harrison Solicitors and Nigel Edwards QC.”