A worker fell five metres through a roof sustaining severe injuries; Richardson Roofing Company Limited (RRCL) has been fined.

St Albans Crown Court heard how a 32 year old labourer was working for RRCL on a construction site at Kingsley Green, Radlett, Hertfordshire on 8 August 2013, fitting battens on the roof around holes for the skylights when he stepped on a membrane covering one of the holes and fell approximately five metres. He sustained two broken wrists and four fractures to the skull and was hospitalised for fifteen days. He has not been able to return to this type of work.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident found that the hole had been previously covered by boards but these were later removed in order to complete the works up to hole’s edge, leaving the hole visually obscured by the thin roofing membrane. The company failed to properly identify and put in place controls for controlling the hazard of falling through the roof once the boards were removed.

Richardson Roofing Company Limited, of Richardson House, Moor Lane, Staines, Middlesex, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, and was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,865.