An electrical contractor has been fined £120,000 after a worker fell from the roof of a building site and died.
On 24 February 2021, father-of-one Dennis Vincent was working with a colleague using ropes to put in a lightning protection system.
The system was being installed to the front of an office block at Palmyra House, Palmyra Square in Warrington, that was being converted into flats.
Vincent, 36, was lowering the access equipment from the roof using a rope attached to a frame at roof level and a handrail at ground level. As he was doing this, both he and the frame fell from the roof to the ground.
PTSG Electrical Services Ltd, of Castleford, West Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act.
On 9 February 2023 Wirral Magistrates’ Court fined PTSG £120,000 and ordered it to pay costs of £5,448.51.
A further two companies are due to appear at Liverpool Crown Court later this year in relation to the incident. They pleaded not guilty at an earlier hearing.
‘Failings of employer’
HSE inspector Sara Andrews said: “Our thoughts today are with the family of Dennis Vincent, a young dad and husband who did not return home on 24 February 2021 because of the failings of his employer.
“This incident could easily have been avoided by better planning of the work to ensure adequate controls were in place to prevent falls from the roof.
“Whilst rope access techniques are appropriate in some circumstances, they should only be used if more appropriate measures, such as fixed scaffolding, cannot be.”
The HSE investigation found that PTSG failed to adequately assess the risks and gave little consideration to the work at height hierarchy of control.
HSE found PTSG opted for personal protection measures over more suitable collective protection measures such as scaffolding or a mobile elevating work platform.
It also found the company had not planned for getting the rope access equipment onto, and off, the roof safely.
HSE guidance on roof work can be found at: Construction – Roof work industry health & safety (hse.gov.uk)