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Firm fined £1.9m after roof fall

25 March 2019 | By CM staff

A company has been fined nearly £1.9m after two workers were seriously injured when they both fell over 4m through a rooflight.

Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 13 April 2016, the two workers were investigating a leak from the roof at the Malton site of Karro Foods Ltd, which the workers did not realise contained several rooflights. The workers were walking closely together and both stood on the same roof light which consequently fell through due to the weight.

One worker suffered four fractured ribs, a punctured lung, and muscular contusions to his outer right thigh. The other suffered a fractured skull, muscular injuries to his right leg and injuries inside his ear which cause ongoing problems with his balance, memory and mental health.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the roof was made of asbestos cement and had several rooflights situated along it but they were not visible due to the build-up of moss and dirt which had accumulated over the years. Employees had also not been made aware of them.

Karro Foods Ltd of Hugden Way, Norton Grove Industrial Estate, Malton, Yorkshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company has been fined £1,866,000 and ordered to pay £8,019 in costs.

HSE inspector Mark Slater commented: “This was a wholly avoidable incident, caused by the failure of the company to provide adequate controls against the risks arising from working at height.

“Consideration of roof fragility and rooflights, visible or not, should be made, especially on older buildings.”

Comments

Tell me another one just like the other one, tell me another one do. I recall my father saying this to workers who were playing the excuse-game on him, these men are described as roofing workers (sic) Alleged roofing workers who it appears are not aware of the dangers of walking on asbestos clad roofs, dangers that even a passer-by can easily see from the ground and, to make it worse, this roof had glass skylights, and they claim they could not see them.? in 65 years of surveying hundreds of roofs, including this type of roof. I have never yet seen the outline and roof lines of a skylight that could not be seen. Standing on glass, was it wired glass and they jumped to the wrong conclusion it would be safe?

R Wilson, 25 March 2019

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