£20k fine follows tower fall

Manchester magistrates heard how, on 27th November 2018, two employees of Rooffabs Direct Ltd had been working with their boss, Paul McMahon, to install signage at retail premises on Bury New Road, Prestwich. The employees used a tower scaffold to carry out the work. During the afternoon, when Mr McMahon was no longer on site, the tower scaffold moved away from the building and the two employees fell approximately two metres, fracturing their legs and ankles.

An investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) found that the tower scaffold had not been erected by someone with appropriate training. There were missing guard rails on the scaffold and no outriggers in place at the time of the incident. The company also failed to report the incident as required by the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR).

Rooffabs Direct Limited of St Mary’s place, Bury, pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and section 3(1) of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Regulations 2013. The company was fined £20,000.

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Paul McMahon of Bury Road, Rochdale – the sole director – pleaded guilty under section 37 to breaching section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and section 3(1) of the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Regulations 2013. Mr McMahon was ordered to complete 100 hours community service, pay compensation orders of £500 each for the two injured persons and was ordered to pay costs of £1,000.

HSE inspector David Norton said after the hearing: “Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities and severe injuries in this country. The risks associated with work at height are well known.

“This incident could so easily have been avoided by having a suitably trained person put up the tower scaffold and ensuring that the required guardrails and outriggers were in place.”

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