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Firm fined after director’s nephew dies in roofing fall

8 February 2019 | By CM staff

A roofing company has been fined after its director’s nephew died in a fall while working for the firm.

Southwark Crown Court heard how, on 9 December 2015, Daniel Shrimpton was removing flashing from the roof of a two-storey terraced house in Wimbeldon. He was found lying unresponsive on the ground soon after beginning work and died later that day in hospital. Daniel Shrimpton was Ray Strank’s nephew and the only employee of Ray Strank Roofing.

A joint investigation between the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Metropolitan Police found Ray Strank Roofing had failed to properly plan the work and that suitable control measures were not in place.

The most appropriate form of work at height equipment for the job would have been a scaffold, erected on two sides of the building to provide edge protection to all the open edges of the roof. However, a scaffold was not present on site on the day of the incident and not priced for. Ray Strank Roofing’s failings were due to the neglect of Ray Strank, the sole director, the HSE said.

Ray Strank Roofing of Sandbourne Avenue, London pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and has been fined £50,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,500.

Ray Strank of Sandbourne Avenue, London pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was sentenced to 200 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay costs of £5,500.

HSE inspector Gabriella Dimitrov said: “This was a tragic incident, which could so easily have been avoided by the carrying out of correct control measures and safe working practices.

“Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work fatalities in this country, and the hazards associated with working at height are well-known. Similarly, the precautions and systems of work available to control these hazards are also well known and well documented.

“Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

Comments

Height in Construction should ultimately be considered when scoping work in construction. Two hundred hours of community services and monetary fines is considered a drop in the bucket for human life. Whether you work at heights everyday or just once in awhile, safety focus during those times is of utmost importance.
The building industry should be more stringent than the HSE regulations prior to business registrations. It takes one mistake to turn a routine work task into a fatality. This young man falls are debilitating, causing double deadly circumstances. The Act of 1974 is to protect employees each and every time they could be exposed. The building industry must strictly part-take in investigations on any construction company that willfully violate safety.

AFOLABI ADESANYA, MCIOB, C Build.E FCABE, 11 February 2019

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