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August 11, 2021

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Employer sentenced after worker falls 30 feet through skylight

A roofing contractor has received a suspended sentence after an employee fell approximately 30 feet through a glass skylight on a warehouse roof.

Nizamuddin Gorji was engaged to over-clad the existing roof, Preston Crown Court was told. He employed three operatives to carry out the work, which commenced on 13 May 2020. The following day one of the employees fell through the roof sustaining severe life changing injuries to his pelvis, arm, knee and face and has undergone extensive surgery since.

The HSE’s investigation found that Mr Gorji failed to adequately plan the roof work or consider the equipment required. There was no scaffolding in place around the building or under-slinging nets, covering fragile skylights and asbestos cement sheets. He had not completed any health and safety training and did not adequately train the operatives he employed.

Nizamuddin Gorji of Woodbine Road, Blackburn pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 9 (2) and 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. He received a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years and was ordered to pay costs of £3,000.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Jackie Western said: “The risks from working at height, especially when involving fragile roof materials such as asbestos cement roof sheets and fragile rooflights, are well known. Those in control of the work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working, which should include ensuring the use of suitable work equipment and adequate supervision.”

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