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Falls from Height

Bradford man spared jail after father fell through roof

5th May 2023

A Bradford man has been given a suspended prison sentence after an employee sustained life-threatening injuries when he fell 30-feet through a fragile roof.

Fazal Subkhan, 57, was given the nine-month sentence (suspended for two years) after pleading guilty to health and safety breaches. It related to an incident on 25 March 2020 when Uzaifa Khan, 34, suffered a number of significant injuries including a broken hip and pelvis.

Thirty-four-year-old Mr Khan fell more than 30 feet through the fragile roof

Father-of-two Mr Khan said the incident at a unit in Shipley, left him unable to do ’95 per cent’ of things he did before.

“It’s been a crazy two and a half years,” he said.

“A lot has happened since regarding my physical and mental wellbeing.

“It has impacted me greatly.

“I can’t physically pick up my daughter and she cries that I can’t do so.

“I don’t feel safe going out anymore as I can’t physically look after myself.”

Leeds Crown Court heard that Subkhan was working on the roof of Unit C, Ashely Lane in Shipley, with Mr Khan. However he fell through the fragile roof landing on pallets approximately 36-feet below. His other injuries included broken ribs, a partially collapsed lung, a shattered left wrist and a broken left elbow.

Fazal Subkhan was given a nine-month suspended prison sentence in relation to the incident

“The accident has completely changed my life,” he went on to say.

“The key memory is falling and when I was on the floor and in pain, he came up to me and said ‘make sure you tell the police you went on the roof on your

own accord’.”

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Mr Subkhan had made previous repairs to the roof at the site but returned to undertake further work. No risk assessment was undertaken for working on the fragile roof. Safe access to the roof, and the risk of falling through or from the roof were not considered and no controls of any sort were put in place.

Fazal Subkhan of Rochester Street, Bradford, West Yorkshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (2) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. As well as the suspended prison sentence he must also complete 150 hours unpaid work and was ordered to pay £2,500 in costs.

HSE inspector Chris Tilley said: “Falls through fragile roofs and fragile roof lights cause death and serious injury.They account for almost a fifth of all the fatal accidents which result from a fall from height in the construction industry.

“It’s better to avoid working on fragile roofs at all but if you have to, always assess the risk and employ safe control measures like installing perimeter edge protection, the use of staging on the roof surface to spread the loads or install safety nets underneath the roof”.

Check out our fall protection training courses

Article source: The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety

Falls from Height

Rooftop Worker Scheme – Highlighting the latest training scheme to be released by Energy & Utility Skills working with the Mast & Tower Safety Group

Arco, the UK’s Leading Safety Company, is advising businesses that operate within the telecoms industry to ensure all workers are trained in accordance with the new Rooftop Worker – Safety & Access Scheme set out by The Energy and Utility Skills Register (EUSR).

The Energy and Utility Skills Register (EUSR) has released a new training qualification, the Rooftop Worker – Safety & Access Scheme, consisting of 15 units and containing both theoretical and practical assessed elements. The scheme recognises the knowledge and skills required to access flat roofs with a variety of personal fall protections systems.

The new scheme has been developed in collaboration with the Mast & Tower Safety Group (MATS), which consists of organisations that own or manage masts and towers where there are specific and significant work at height and occupational radio frequency (RF) hazards.?

Although designed for anyone wanting to work safely at height and understand the dangers of working on rooftops, the scheme will become the recognised qualification for those working on telecommunication infrastructure, with leading telecoms companies stating that completing the scheme is now mandatory to work on their sites.

New training or refresher training, since the 1st of January 2023, must now be completed to the new EUSR syllabus and conducted by an EUSR accredited training provider. Certificates attained prior to this date will remain valid until they expire, including the Arqiva Rooftop Worker training, meaning that the 1st of January 2026 will mark the first time that the only certification in use across the industry will be the new scheme.

According to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), a total of 123 workers were killed in work-related accidents in Great Britain in 2021/22, with falls from a height being the biggest contributor, accounting for 24% of these (29 people).

As experts in safety, Arco is encouraging businesses that work in the telecoms industry, to take note of the new scheme and to ensure their staff receive the correct training to best protect those working at height. 

Steve Dawson, Manager – Working at Height Training at Arco Professional Safety Services, said: “Falling from height is still one of the most common work-related accidents and is proportionally the largest contributor of work-related deaths, therefore it is vitally important that those who work at height receive the proper training and are undertaking their work in compliance with the necessary regulations and are adhering to industry best practice. 

“As experts in safety, we are pleased to announce that we have become an approved provider of the EUSR (MATS) Rooftop Worker – Safety & Access Scheme, with the training becoming an integral part of our course portfolio to help keep workers safe. Furthermore, we will be offering this training scheme at our new, state-of-the-art training facility in Bracknell, Berkshire.” 

Arco Professional Safety Services offer the one-day Rooftop Worker – Safety & Access Scheme course, at its safety training centres in Linlithgow (Edinburgh), Trafford Park (Manchester), Eccleshall (Stafford) and Bracknell (Berkshire).

For more information about the training available, click: 


Falls from Height

Fall Protection Standards Updated – An Easy-to-Understand Guide to Ensuring Safety

Falls from height continue to be the largest cause of workplace fatalities in the UK. The latest figures show 29 workers were killed as a result of falling from height in 2021/22. Under the Working at Height regulations, it is the duty of those in control to do all that is possible to ensure the safety of those working at height. Fall protection solutions play a key role and we talk to Ben Haughton, Technical Director at Arco Professional Safety Services, about the latest standards and what building owners and managers need to be aware of. 

Q. What are the key elements of a fall protection system?

A. High-level access solutions and anchor systems are designed to facilitate the safe and efficient working environment for roof maintenance and other tasks that are performed at high level or where there is exposure to a fall. A fall protection system incorporates several key elements, principally the anchorage whose design and application is influenced by a number of variables which depend on the risk and the situation and, as always, should only be necessary once all other methods of safe working from ground level have been considered.  

Q. What processes are necessary when designing and installing a fall protection anchor system?

A. The designer must have a very good understanding of the requirements for working at height and the tasks that are required to be carried out when using the anchor system, they must also have a good knowledge of building fabric and engineering principles. Buildings range from the modern to the ancient and, where knowledge is limited, it is important that the designer has a network of supporting specialists from whom to seek advice. 

Once a system has been designed and installed, it needs to be commissioned and certified. The installation and commissioning process for fall protection systems has largely been based on self-certification. The same goes for ongoing inspection and maintenance. In the past, a lot has been left to the interpretation of standards and as such there is always a risk of the system failing to protect workers properly and for badly maintained and faulty equipment to be in use. Without an appropriate design and inspection regime, the shortcomings of a system may only be realised when it is called upon to do its job, in the case of a fall arrest system, the outcome could be serious injury or death. 

Q. Is there a standard that needs to be met to ensure ongoing safety?

A. BS 7883 has been in existence since 1997 and was revised in 2005, amended in 2007 and recently revised again in 2019. The BSI (British Standards Institute) PH5 committee, made up of expert representatives from across the industry, was set up to look at the existing standard and address some industry concerns. This most recent update takes into account the advances in fall protection systems and technology and provides a more prescriptive approach than the original versions, putting a greater emphasis on what must be done, as opposed to what should be done. The revised standard incorporates all commonly used types of anchor devices and provides prescriptive guidance on design, installation and inspection.

Q. Could you tell us more about the revised standard and what it means?

A. For the designer, specifier or installer of fall protection systems, there has always been a requirement to provide evidence of the design process. In the revised standard there is additional guidance on best practice to ensure all elements of a safe system have been considered and are documented. The designer must provide a system technical file that contains a minimum amount of information, and this file should be made available for reference at every inspection. This is particularly important as inspections are often carried out by third parties, who may have no prior knowledge of the original system design. The file could include photographs taken at the time of installation and other details that may not be immediately obvious on initial inspection, this is of particular importance where hidden elements comprise parts of the anchor system.

Q. Once a system is in place, what are the main requirements for maintaining safety?

A. Following initial installation, the anchor system must be inspected and tested at least annually (six-monthly where Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998(LOLER) applies) by a competent and qualified person to ensure it is in a safe working condition and carries the supporting formal certification. It is the duty holder’s responsibility to manage the anchor system and to ensure that it remains certified. If the certification does expire, or the system is failed at inspection, it is the duty holder’s responsibility to ensure that no one is allowed to use the system(s), in the case of a fail, this may require the anchor to be physically put out of service so that it cannot be used. The revised standard recognises that if it were applied to many existing anchor systems, most would simply fail if the outcomes were binary pass/fail, for instance the lack of supporting design information/technical file. So, in order to help with the transition from past to present, two other inspection outcomes are available: Conditional Pass & Conditional Fail.

o Conditional Pass – does not represent an immediate safety concern and the anchor system can be put into service provided a report is issued to the duty holder detailing the remedial actions required to bring the system into line with the current standard and a timeframe within which this should be completed.

o Conditional Fail – represents an immediate safety concern but one which can be remediated. The system must be immediately taken out of service (ideally physically preventing its use) and a report issued to the duty holder detailing the remedial actions required before a re-inspection is carried out and it can be returned to service.

Q. This standard isn’t regulation but what are the consequences of not adhering to it?

A. This is a standard and not a regulation and therefore there is no legal duty to comply with it. However, if an accident were to occur that involved the failure of a fall protection anchor system and the alternative design, installation and inspection process was found not to be suitable or sufficient, the designer, installer, duty holder or inspector could be found to be negligent in discharging their responsibilities under the Health & Safety at Work Act etc. and would most likely face prosecution under this and it’s aligned statutory instruments i.e. the Work At Height Regulations.

Q. Where can I go for further help and advice?

The design, installation and inspection of anchor systems is a complex matter and providing the right access solution may require a range of different anchor systems. The consequence of an anchor system failure could lead to serious injury or even death, so it is essential that developers, architects, constructors and duty holders seek the advice of service providers that are suitably qualified and have necessary experience of the design or installation that they are undertaking. Whilst not a legal requirement, commissioning of systems by a suitably qualified third-party provider can provide independent assurance that the anchor system has been designed and installed correctly.

Arco Professional Safety Services can provide expert assistance from initial concept design to installation, commissioning and periodic inspection.  For further information: 


Falls from Height

FIxed Ladders fitted with a safety cage: Safe or Unsafe?

By Rob Messenger

With falls from height still one of the leading causes of fatal accidents at work, the industry welcomes two new guidance documents on working safely on portable ladders, released by the Ladder Association and Health & Safety Executive (HSE).  Rob Messenger, Work and Rescue at Height Instructor, at Arco Professional Safety Services, looks at the issues of fixed, safety cage ladders and how to mitigate the risks associated with using this type of equipment.

With falls from height the leading cause of fatalities at work – the updated guidance from the HSE and the Ladder Association will be welcomed by safety professionals, site managers, company directors and ladder users alike.

Fixed ladders are common across a multitude of industries within the United Kingdom, as an access method giving many thousands safe access to plant and equipment which is located at height. But is it safe for you, your colleagues, your contractors, or your employees to use caged ladders without any additional measures? Within many industries the use of these ladders without additional fall protection measures has largely been banned. This has been done out of ‘best practice’ rather than due to a legal requirement. However, there are many industries where their use is both frequent and without any fall protection measures in place.

The HSE released a research paper in 2004 titled “Preliminary Investigation into the fall-arresting effectiveness of ladder safety hoops” (Click Here) where they state that, “Various legislative and guidance documents specify ladder safety hoops on fixed access ladders, (alternatively rendered as caged ladders), and give the impression that the purpose of the hoops is to protect workers from falling to the ground or other platform. Previous research has indicated that there is almost a total lack of knowledge in regard to ladder safety hoops.” A quick search with ladder manufacturers brings up comments from many claiming these ladders, “offer a completely enclosed, safe method of access for almost any situation.”

What does the Law say?

The regulations allow the climbing of ladders with safety cages without any fall protective equipment. However, the HSE released a safety bulletin in 2012 titled Hooped ladders and the use of personal fall-arrest systems and within this document they say the following:

  • “hooped ladders (with or without a personal fall arrest system) may not be effective in safely arresting a fall without injury. As a result, duty holders are advised to review their risk assessments where these ladders are used”
  • “HSE does not recommend the blanket removal of hoops from ladders (which would probably increase overall risk), or to prohibit the use of personal fall arrest systems within hooped ladders”
  • “hoops alone do not provide positive fall arrest capability; they can provide other safety benefits such as getting on and off the ladder”

How far is too far?

The British Standard BS 5395 Part 3 (1985) recommended that “[…] the height of a ladder should not exceed 6m without an intermediate landing.” This is in contrast with the most recent BS 4211:2005+A1:2008 which specifies 9m. The standard also recommends that ladders over 2m should have a safety cage.

So, what should we do?

Caged LadderThe simple answer, as is stated in the HSE 2012 safety bulletin, is that everyone should be attached to some form of fall protection system as research shows that the cages alone will not help a worker during a fall and may even cause more significant injury. However, this is not quite correct as the HSE research found that the effectiveness of some fall arrest systems was ineffective when combined with a caged ladder. We know that falls from height, including low levels, can easily result in fatal injuries and therefore we should try to protect workers who are having to access these ladders but simply putting in a fall arrest system or making workers wear lanyards is not always the best solution.

A fall arrest system should have ideally been tested to show its compatibility with a caged ladder or failing that, consideration should be made to remove the cages from ladders once a fall arrest system has been installed.

It is a tricky position for businesses as you will be considering the cost of training, installation of the system, periodic testing of PPE, annual recertification of the safety system, rescue planning for the now suspended worker etc. But all of this will be cheaper than a HSE fine and considerably lighter than the burden of being responsible for an injured worker.

A factor to perhaps consider is the physical fitness and the health of the person climbing the ladder. How many employers have considered the following when assessing aptitude for work at height; Are they comfortable climbing? Used to elevating their heart rate with strenuous activity? Able to hold their body weight and grip a ladder? Do they suffer from a medical condition that could cause a fall such as vertigo, diabetes, epilepsy, low blood pressure etc.?

A construction company recently reported that a 50-year-old male was climbing a caged ladder up a 50m tower crane to reach the control cabin. Whilst climbing the worker felt dizzy and suffered a heart attack, he fell and landed onto one of the landing platforms. The report concluded that having a landing platform every 12 m seemed to have been too much for the worker’s physical abilities, he was going back to work immediately after lunch on a very hot afternoon.

Was he safe? A common response to this question is “he does this all the time, day in day out”, this accident shows that experience doesn’t matter but checking a person’s fitness and health should always be part of the risk assessment.

Rescue and Emergency Planning

The Work at Height Regulations state, “Regulation 4 (1) Every employer shall ensure that work at height is – (a) properly planned[…]” this includes planning for emergencies and rescue.

Other factors to consider include:

  • Competence of those trained to rescue
  • Suitability of rescue equipment, e.g. the length of the equipment (this is quite often not taken in to consideration)
  • Rescuers ability and knowledge to provide first aid post rescue
  • Communication with emergency services prior to commencing rescue. If in a remote area post codes are not always useful and ‘What 3 words’ is not always reliable as it relies on good and accurate signal, so having a location identified in the method statement prior to the rescue is essential
  • Number of persons trained in rescue. (What if the one person rescue trained is the person who is unwell, injured or has fallen?)

It is worth noting that not all firefighters or stations are trained for nor are they equipped for a work at height rescue. This is the same for the ambulance crew who also have a 27kg bag to get to the patient.

Summary recommendations

Cages/hoops on ladders are a common method of access to everyday workplace platforms, but have been considerably relied upon to arrest and make safe the fall of a worker to which they have been shown to offer no assistance and in fact could cause more injury. The HSE do not require cages/hoops to be removed from ladders nor do they demand a fall arrest system to be used.

The HSE simply recommends that you provide some form of compatible protection for workers on fixed ladders and this can be achieved by working with a reputable fall protection company.

Always make sure the fall arrest system that you use is compatible for a caged/hooped ladder, is regularly inspected, and your staff are fit, trained and competent to access the ladder.

Finally, ensure that you have planned for an emergency/rescue. Rescue equipment is readily available and ensure staff are trained in its use.


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Falls from Height


Falls from height are the single biggest cause of workplace deaths and one of the main causes of major injury within the workplace. Steve Dawson, working at height expert at Arco Professional Safety Services, explains the importance of training for working at height and having the right equipment.

The most tragic consequences of not providing the right training and protective equipment to your work force, can be serious injury or even the death of an employee.  In 2020/21, 35 fatal injuries were due to Falls from a height, accounting for 25% of all worker deaths over the year. [1] Add to this the 17 deaths caused from ‘Struck by moving’ (including flying/falling objects) statistics – which can often be related to Working at Height – and there continues to be a serious need for education and training.

Employers are bound by law under the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and are required to eliminate or reduce the risks when working at height. Anyone in control of any work at height must ensure that the work is properly planned, and carried out by people who have sufficient skills, knowledge and experience. This must include appropriate training at all levels, from project managers to end users of critical safety equipment e.g. PPE & Rescue equipment.

In the first instance, employers should assess the risk and consider alternative methods for getting the job done without the need for working at height. However, if that is not practical, then it is their legal duty to make sure the requirements of the Regulations are met and their employees are kept safe.  As one of the most common high-risk business environments, it is essential that people receive the proper training before commencing work at height. Training solutions can either be tailored to a particular need or provided through a number of off-the-shelf courses. Highly experienced trainers will work with you on or off-site to provide training at all levels of your business.

Why is training so important?

Most would agree that incidents on site start at the risk assessment and planning phase. The end user of PPE doesn’t stand much chance of staying safe if work planners do not have sufficient knowledge and experience to appropriately mitigate the risk in the first instance. Appropriate training at this level is vital and should help mitigate risk but can also result in a more efficient safe system of work. 

If personal fall protection is required, it can only protect the worker if they are competent in its use, aware of why they must use it, and therefore properly trained. Experienced instructors can simulate realistic working environments and provide advice on the correct equipment to use, and how to use it, together with practical training which can be taken back to real life situations.

New and existing industry/trade bodies are acutely aware of the importance of standardised, quality training delivery for Working at Height. The recent release of the Rooftop Safety Training Standard by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) is just one of many examples of industry bodies driving much needed and positive change in their respective sector. There is also an abundance of equipment now available from manufacturers which provides employers with cost effective, practical options to keep workers safe. Training is paramount to ensure end-users understand the advantages and limitations of this equipment when used in their work environment.

Continuing importance of training

Between April and June last year, 32 million working days were lost to COVID-19 related absences. Redundancies, movement restrictions and fluctuating guidelines have made it difficult for organisations to provide their workers with training. As restrictions are lifted and the country moves towards a return to ‘normal’, many businesses are trying to catch up but are struggling to keep up with training requirements. 

Reduced training and a reduction in task-based activity will undoubtedly result in skills fade. The possible consequences in high-risk industries such as working at height, are plain. To maintain skill levels in industry, business leaders are looking at new ways of achieving this. Alongside contingency plans and ‘back to work’ responses, health and safety training must be boosted to ensure that a restructured workforce can cope with high-risk environments and inevitable skill gaps that can occur. 

It’s vital that this training provides workers with the right balance of knowledge and practical skills to be able to deliver their work safely. It is all too tempting for companies to provide their workers with theory only training when social distancing and movement restrictions are in place; however, the shortfall in practical skills could have severe consequences. This is not to say that there is no place for training in the virtual world, there is a balance to be struck where it is safe to do so. The workforce needs the confidence to manage their daily tasks safely but also not to be exposed to the increasing risk of contracting COVID-19 by receiving training in the normal classroom setting. Arco Professional Safety Services has launched several video conference courses and are developing Virtual Reality tools to help organisations keep its workforce safe whilst also maintaining the recommended social distances measures on our practical training courses during COVID-19.  




Falls from Height

A forging company has been fined after an employee suffered a fatal injury when he fell from height from a mobile tower scaffold.
A Stokes Group Limited employee George Clifford was fatally injured at the company site on Cochrane Road,  Dudley, West Midlands, after falling from a tower scaffold whilst dismantling a Eumuco 2000 Tonne Forging Press, Dudley Magistrates’ Court was told. The incident happened on 19 June 2019.

The HSE’s investigation found the company had failed to have a safe system of work in place for the dismantling of the forging press and did not provide information, instruction and training for the task. The mobile scaffold tower was erected without suitable and sufficient measures namely guard rails to prevent a person falling a distance liable to cause injury.

Stokes Group Limited of Cochrane Road, Holly Hall, Dudley, West Midlands pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,885.20.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Karen Sweeney said. “The incident could have been prevented if the work had been properly planned, risk assessed and a safe system of work put in place for the dismantling of the forging press. When devising a safe system of work, consideration should have been given to the selection of work equipment for work at height and whether a mobile tower scaffold was appropriate.

“The incident could also have been prevented had the tower scaffold been erected with suitable and sufficient measures such as guard rails, to prevent a person falling a distance liable to cause injury.”

Article from Safety and Health Practioner online

Falls from Height

No physical protection or warning of opening and fragile covering

A construction firm has been fined after a 17-year-old worker fell over 3m through a roof opening on a project in Gloucester during August 2018.

Cheltenham Magistrates heard that the young man fell through a sheet of insulation covering a rooflight opening whilst walking across an unmarked and unguarded area on the first floor of the structure. He suffered multiple broken bones in his right leg and foot and, after two operations, was advised it was unlikely he could work in construction again.

HSE investigators found that the inexperienced young employee was not supervised properly and was unaware of the risks on site.

There were no physical warnings that there was an opening or a fragile surface, and no verbal warning had been circulated to workers on site. There were also no physical barriers to stop anyone walking from the scaffold onto the flat roof.

Failures continued after incident

Despite the incident, the company continued to fail to ensure work at height was planned and managed on site. Numerous failings were identified by HSE during later visits to the construction site.

  • Mark Holland Group Limited – of Churchill Road, Leckhampton, Cheltenham pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and has been fined £55,620.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Laura Banks said:

“This serious incident and devastation could have been avoided if basic safe guards had been put in place.

Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of injuries in the country and the risks associated with working at height are well known.

Those in control of work at height should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards”.

Falls from Height

A construction firm has been sentenced after failing to put measures in place to prevent falls from height and to control risks associated with fire.

Irish Anglo Properties Limited failed to ensure the safety of their workers and nearby residents during the construction of six timber frame houses at Moss Lane East in Manchester.

The HSE’s inspection found three men working on the flat roof of the structure on 23 August 2017. The roof ranged from two to three stories high, with no edge protection in place to prevent falls and access to the roof was via untied ladders resting on unsecured floorboards inside the building. Serious fire safety failings were also identified on site with the company failing to consider both the risks associated with constructing from timber, and the measures needed to reduce the risk of a fire occurring and spreading across and beyond the site. There was also an accumulation of combustible materials on site, a lack of adequate site security and there were no general fire precautions in place.

The HSE advise that a material with a suitable level of fire resistance should have been used for the construction, taking into account the close proximity of the occupied apartment block, and the construction of the timber frame should have been phased to allow the building in of suitable compartmentation to reduce the risk of fire spread.

Irish Anglo Properties Limited of Moss Lane East, Manchester, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 29(a) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 and Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined £26,000 and ordered to pay costs of £10,000.

HSE inspector Laura Royales said after the hearing:

“The failings on this site put not only the site operatives but also those living in the adjacent apartment block at risk of serious injury or even death.”


To avoid these prosecutions, contact us to discuss your working at height needs, be it equipment, fall protection sytems, training or services. Call us on 01785 850333 or email with your query. 


Falls from Height

Two contractors have been fined after a worker suffered fatal injuries following a fall through a fragile roof during construction work at a factory in Staffordshire.

Wolverhampton Crown Court heard how on 19 September 2015, at the Norton Aluminium foundry site in Norton Canes, a scaffold company employee was fatally injured after falling approximately 11.5 metres through a fragile roof. The employee was working on the corrugated asbestos cement roof to move and fit temporary scaffold guardrails as part of a larger roof refurbishment project at the site.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Stephen John Brennan, trading as SB Scaffolding, failed to ensure the health and safety of his employees in relation to the work taking place on the fragile roof at the site. The investigation also found that Sandwell Roofing Limited, a contractor in overall control of the roof refurbishment project, failed to ensure that people not in its employment were not exposed to risks arising from work on the fragile roof.

Stephen John Brennan of Lorimer Way, Birmingham, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was sentenced to six months imprisonment suspended for two years, 180 hours of unpaid community service and ordered to pay costs of £14,000.

Sandwell Roofing Limited of New Wood Farm Stourton, Stourbridge, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £41,125 and ordered to pay costs of £33,000.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Andrew Bowker said:

“Falls through fragile roof materials remain one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities during construction work. These risks are well known, and the required control measures well documented in both HSE and industry guidance. This was a tragic and wholly avoidable accident that led to the death of a young man. This death could easily have been prevented if suitable safe systems of work had been in place.”


To help avoid serious fines, imprisonment, suspensions, injuries and in some circumstances death, please speak to us about the correct PPE, training, fall protection systems & services. You can call us on 01785 850333 or email us on

Falls from Height

A roofing contractor has been sentenced for failing to take adequate precautions to prevent his workers falling from height and for breaching a prohibition notice.

Llandudno Magistrates’ Court heard how in April 2018 workers were observed working on the roof of a domestic two-storey house in Wrexham with no edge protection. A prohibition notice was issued preventing further work until control measures were put in place, but the contractor chose to ignore it and carried on working.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), found that Asa Hamilton allowed his workers to be exposed to a continuing risk of falling from the roof, with potential for fatal or major injury.

Asa Hamilton of Linthorpe Road, Buckley, Flintshire pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6 (3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 for failing to provide precautions to prevent falls from height and Sections 33 (1) (e) and 33 (1) g of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 for failing to comply with a prohibition notice.

Mr Hamilton was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, plus 200 hours unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay a contribution of £4,000 towards the costs.

Speaking after the case HSE principal inspector Paul Harvey said

“This was a serious incident and it is fortunate nobody was injured as a result of it. There are well known standards in the construction industry for controlling risks from falls from height. Even when the dutyholder was served a prohibition notice to stop the activity they failed to take the appropriate action.

“HSE will not hesitate to take enforcement action against those that disregard enforcement notices when served or fail to take appropriate measures to control well known risks”


To avoid these prosecutions, contact us to discuss your working at height needs, be it equipment, fall protection sytems, training or services. Call us on 01785 850333 or email with your query.