Roofing firm fined for worker’s life threatening injuries

A Plymouth roofer nearly died after falling from the ridge of a roof where there was no protection.

James Hopkin, 29, from Plymouth, was working on the ridge part of a pitched roof on a house in Torpoint when he fell onto the rear tenement roof and landed in a neighbouring courtyard.

Roof Safety

The incident occurred on 18 April 2013 when Mr Hopkin, who was employed by B&C Roofing, carried out the work.

Mr Hopkin sustained life threatening and life changing injuries, including severe head injuries. He was left bed bound for more than six months.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigated the incident and found that there was no protection provided to prevent a fall such as edge protection.

B&C Roofing were prosecuted by HSE and fined £16,000 and ordered to pay £9,627 in costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Following the hearing, a HSE spokesperson said:

“Mr Hopkin suffered major, life-changing injuries and there was a real possibility that the fall could have proved fatal.

“Falls from height are the biggest cause of workplace deaths and it’s crucial that employers make sure work is properly planned, appropriately supervised and that sufficient measures such as edge protection are put in place to control the risks of harm from falls.

“There is no excuse for employers failing to safeguard workers who have to work at height.”