December 18, 2018

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working at height

Roofer sentenced for health and safety failures

A self-employed part-time roofer has been sentenced after both exposing a homeowner to carbon monoxide and putting co-workers at risk while working at height.

On 9 March 2016, Mr Robert Thompson was in control of work to remove a chimney at a house in Llanharan. According to the HSE, Thompson put his co-workers at risk of falling from a height liable to cause serious physical harm or death. He also exposed the homeowner, his wife and others who visited the property to carbon monoxide.

The HSE’s investigation found the gas supply to the property was not isolated before or during the day’s work and rubble fell down the chimney damaging and blocking the flue. The investigation also found that no scaffolding or other fall protection was in place to work safely at height.

Robert Thompson of Meadowbank Close, Cwmbach, Aberdare, Mid Glamorgan was found guilty of breaching Section 6 (3) of the Work at Height Regulations and Regulation 8(2) of Gas Safety (Installation & Use) 1998 and was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months, plus 180 hours community work.  Thompson was also ordered to pay £1,000 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Simon Breen commented: “Persons carrying out building work, particularly on chimneys, must make sure that they do not block or obstruct an air supply vent or flue and risk the lives of those in the property. They also need to take suitable precautions to prevent workers falling and suffering serious injuries.”

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Jonny Wilkinson

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