UK Government

Health and Safety Executive (London): Concrete firm fined after worker’s roof plunge

Press Release   •   Sep 28, 2010 11:11 BST

A Hounslow company has been fined after a man was injured after falling more than four metres from a roof he was working on.

Alfie Deville 59, from Petworth Gardens, Uxbridge, was injured when he and three other men were dismantling a large steel framed building on 30 April 2009.

Two of the men went onto the roof to unscrew panels before removing them.  The court heard the men were provided with a cherry picker, which would have enabled them to carry out the work without stepping onto the roof but they left the basket of the cherry picker.

Mr Deville stepped on a panel he had previously unscrewed but not removed. The panel gave way and Mr Deville fell to the ground below.

He fell more than four metres suffering a broken collarbone, six fractured ribs and a head wound requiring seven stitches.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation showed Master Concrete had failed to properly plan the work and identify or address any hazards associated with the dismantling of the building.

The court heard the workers involved in the dismantling had no training or experience of this type of work.

After the incident a prohibition notice was served preventing further dismantling of the building until the work was properly planned and carried out by competent persons. However, this was ignored and the building was subsequently demolished by untrained employees.

HSE prosecuted Master Concrete Limited of Bedfont Trading Estate, Feltham for its role in the incident. The company was found guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 at the City of London Magistrates’ Court, on 18 May 2010. Today it was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £18,923.25.

HSE Inspector Loraine Charles said:
“If the work had been properly planned and carried out by workers who were competent to do it, then this needless injury could have been avoided.

“Master Concrete Limited had a responsibility to ensure that there was a safe system of work in place for the dismantling of this structure, which it did not fulfil, and as a result Alfie Deville sustained a serious injury.”

Ref: COILON/2109

1. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain's national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to prevent death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.

2. Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 states: “It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.”

3. For guidance on working from height please see:

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Issued on behalf of the HSE by COI News & PR London


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