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Fatal fall through fragile asbestos roof

02 February 2022

A company has been sentenced after an employee of a Powys construction company was fatally injured in Liverpool when he fell six metres through a roof while working on a replacement roof project.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that on 22 May 2017, roofer Marius Andrus was completing snagging work on a replacement roof. The worker had accessed a part of the old roof made of fragile asbestos cement sheets, which gave way. He fell through the sheets to the ground below sustaining fatal injuries.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the area accessed did not have safety nets fitted and that the employer failed to take reasonably practicable measures to reduce the risk to those working on the roof.

AJM Services (Midlands) Ltd of Llanfihangel, Llanfyllin, Powys pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined £51,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,000.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Andy McGrory said, “This was a tragic incident, which resulted in a needless loss of life and could have easily been avoided by properly planning the work and ensuring appropriate safeguards were in place.

“Those in control of work at height have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working, which should include providing clear and comprehensive information for their workers and ensuring that they are adequately supervised.”

Owners of the building Pearsons Glass of Maddrell Street, Liverpool pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, section 3, at an earlier hearing and were sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court in February 2021. The company was fined £80,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,656.