Company director prosecuted after employee falls six metres onto concrete floor
Graham Dyson, the director of Globalforce Contracts Limited, has been sentenced after an employee fell from a roof and sustained life-threatening injuries.
Chelmsford Magistrates Court heard how, on 7 April 2017, Mr Slawomir Miller, an employee of Globalforce Contracts Limited, was carrying out roof repairs in Harlow, Essex when he fell six metres through a fragile rooflight. Mr Miller landed on the concrete floor below and received multiple fractures to his vertebrae, ribs, elbow, wrist and sacral bones. He subsequently spent eight weeks in hospital.
An investigation by the HSE found that Mr Dyson had failed to properly plan the work or provide adequate fall protection to his employees. Mr Miller had never carried out roofwork before but was instructed to access the roof via a scissor lift, which he was not trained to use. Mr Dyson allowed Mr Miller to work without supervision, undertaking activities that necessitated walking across a fragile roof composed of asbestos cement sheeting.
Mr Graham Dyson, of Bulphan, Essex, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, by virtue of S37 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was sentenced to 200 hours of community service and ordered to pay costs of £6,848.60 and a victim surcharge of £85.
After the hearing, HSE inspector Adam Hills said:
“This incident could so easily have been prevented. Work at height on asbestos cement roofing is dangerous and requires adequate planning, organisation, training and equipment.
The director was aware of the need to access and repair the roof. He could have provided work at height training and equipment to workers, or simply contracted the task out to a professional roofing company. Directors should be aware that they may be held personally accountable if they endanger the lives of their employees.”