Three Directors Jailed

Three Directors Jailed over Workers Roof Fall Death.

Three company directors have been jailed for Health & Safety Offences after a 63 year old worker fell to his death.

Two directors from a Essex-based Property Company and one from a Architectural Metalwork Firm have been handed jail terms of between 8 and 12 months over the death of the worker at a warehouse in Essex in April 2015. Their two companies were also convicted of corporate manslaughter and breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and fined a total of £1.06 million.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard how they they had hired their friends company to repair the roof of the warehouse, which was owned by the business. Although both the HSE and Harlow District Council had warned them about the dangers involved in the repair work and the need to provide safety measures such a fall arrest netting, they chose to carry out the work without such precautions.

The court heard that the metalwork company had no experience in roofing work. They failed to carry out a risk assessment at the site and sent staff employed by his company on to the roof without training.

The worker plunged to the ground after stepping on a discoloured skylight. He suffered serious head injuries and died later n hospital.

The prosecutor on the case told the court the skylight was not obvious and the roof was covered in dirt and lichen. There was no safety netting, harnesses, hard hats or ladder and a home-made cherry picker which was used to lift people and materials.

The metalwork company admitted corporate manslaughter and breaching section 3 of the HSWA, the director admitted breaching section 3 HSWA.

The property company denied corporate manslaughter and breaching section 3 of the HSWA and its two directors also denied breaching section 3.

Following a four-week trial which concluded in February 2017 both companies were found guilty of all charges.

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