Firm prosecuted following the avoidable death of a roof worker
A Darwen firm have appeared in court after one of their employees, Graham Readfern (56 yrs old from Bacup), died after falling from the roof of a partly completed loft conversion project in January 2012.
Newhey Loft Conversions Limited were prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an investigation revealed that the scaffolding used to protect workers from a fall while carrying out roof work was not sufficient.
Minshull Street Crown Court heard that Newhey had been contracted to carry out a large loft conversion on a property in Chorlton, Manchester and their subcontracted employee, Mr Readfern, had fallen from the roof of the dormer conversion but was not caught by the scaffolding as it had not been built high enough to stop someone falling to the ground some 5 metres below.
Mr Readfern had been carrying a roll of roofing felt onto the newly built dormer window when the ladder he was using collapsed and he was catapulted over the scaffold handrail into a neighbouring garden. Although treatment was given, Mr Readfern died of his injuries 17 days later.
Newhey Loft Conversions Limited pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
Newhey Loft Conversions Ltd, of Lloyd Street Sawmills, Darwen, was fined £40,000 and ordered to pay £20,000 towards the cost of the prosecution.