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Sales director given community order and company fined after apprentice falls through fragile roof light

Sales director given community order and company fined after apprentice falls through fragile roof light

1 January 2018 Email this article

A roofing company was fined and its sales director given a community order after an apprentice suffered severe head and back injuries after falling through a fragile skylight.

Coventry Magistrates’ Court heard how the Adam Askey Limited apprentice was injured when he fell over six metres through the factory roof to the concrete floor below. The 18-year-old apprentice suffered severe head, facial and back injuries which required him to be placed in an induced coma for three weeks.

Key learning

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Luke Messenger said “These cases reinforce the need for contractors to have the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience for roof work. It also highlights the importance of precautions for work at height, and the protection of young inexperienced trainees/apprentices.

“In this case, the company failed to ensure that the roof work was properly planned or supervised. Proper precautions should be taken when working on roofs and near fragile skylights, even for short duration work such as surveying.”

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident, which occurred in November 2016, found that the employee was a young, inexperienced apprentice and had not worked on this type of roof before. The apprentice had not received any training from the company for work on this type of roof, or for work near skylights.

Adam Askey Limited of Starley Way, Solihull, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company has been fined £120,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1308.95.

Steven Dickson, a senior manager and acting sales director of the company, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was given a community order requiring him to do 200 hours unpaid work and to submit to an electronically-monitored curfew between 8pm and 6am for a period of four weeks starting immediately. He was also ordered to pay costs of £1749.15.