Builder falls to death after boss ignores safety warning

Grant Prior 6 years ago

A Trafford contractor has been fined £145,000 after a worker fell ten metres through a fragile roof onto a concrete floor and died two years later from his injuries.

J Mills (Contractors) Ltd was fined for failing to put any safety measures in place to stop 32-year-old Alan Kerwin falling while he was replacing a skylight on a warehouse in Ashton-under-Lyne.

Manchester Crown Court heard that the father-of-one from Lower Broughton, Salford, sustained several serious injuries in the fall on 31 March 2007, including a fractured skull.

Kerwin developed post-traumatic epilepsy as a result of his injuries, and was never able to return to work. He died from an epileptic seizure in April 2009.

The court heard that Kerwin’s line manager had received advice from HSE just one week before the incident which could have saved his life.

An HSE inspector explained to him how to safely manage work on fragile roofs, but this advice was not acted upon.

The incident occurred at Kayley Industrial Estate on Richmond Street in Ashton-under-Lyne, where Kerwin was working a Saturday shift. He was on the roof with two of his colleagues when he placed his weight on the delicate cement surrounding the glass.

The cement shattered, and Kerwin fell through the gap. The HSE investigation found J Mills had not carried out a risk assessment or put any safety measures in place to protect him.

J Mills (Contractors) Ltd, of Higher Road in Urmston, admitted safety breaches and was ordered to pay £7,700 in prosecution costs in addition to the fine.

After the hearing, David Norton, the investigating inspector at HSE, said: “This is a tragic case in which someone has lost their father as a result of an entirely avoidable incident.

“Falls from height remain the biggest cause of workplace deaths and one of the main causes of serious injury. But Mr Kerwin was allowed to walk across a roof without anything in place to stop him falling.

“Just one week before, Mr Kerwin’s line manager was advised by a colleague of mine about the dangers of working at height, and how to protect employees.

“If he had acted on this advice then I’m confident Mr Kerwin would still be alive today.”

Latest news

Cladding specialist Cover Structure goes into administration

Robertson takes over from stricken subcontractor on Aberdeen conference centre
3 hours ago

Kier clinches £57m student village for Warwick Uni

Five student blocks to be demolished to make way for new buildings
4 hours ago

Clugston to start work on £25m Hull warehouse

Arco national distribution centre will be extended for extra 220,000 sq ft
4 hours ago

McAlpine JV wins pre-construction deal on £466m hospital

J3 Limited joint venture chosen for new Jersey hospital
9 hours ago

Lendlease and McLaren win £1bn Manchester St John’s scheme

Enabling work to start next month on St John's neighbourhood
8 hours ago

DNA research firm to build new plant in Oxfordshire

Oxford Nanopore reveals plans for new manufacturing centre after £100m cash injection
8 hours ago

Urban & Civic praises speedy planners

Developer gets green light in just 20 weeks for 2,800 new homes
8 hours ago

Mears chases £2bn bid pipeline after profits weaken

Mears suffers challenging year after Grenfell disaster and Middle East contract hits
8 hours ago

Stalled Angelgate site put up for sale

Land earmarked for blighted Manchester resi scheme to go under auctioneer's hammer
1 day ago

£36m Cardiff student block set for planning OK

Crosslane gets go-ahead for 384-bed scheme
1 day ago

Boost your online presence with the new Enquirer Directory

New site for suppliers and buyers will showcase their products, services and latest stories
3 weeks ago

Vinci UK profits soar despite £18m civils loss

Profit boost from land disposal offsets further losses at Taylor Woodrow
1 day ago

FRC launches probe into Carillion finance directors

Investigation into Richard Adam and Zafar Khan over preparation of financial accounts back to 2014
1 day ago

Kier set for £48m Pirbright animal virus research lab

Work due to start before end of 2018 on the high containment large animal facility
1 day ago

Wates sees order book swell to record £5.1bn

Contractor confident about future prospects as it offers new roles to former Carillion staff
1 day ago

Engie to start stripping cladding on East London tower blocks

Canning Town and Plaistow Tower housing blocks get reclad go-ahead
1 day ago

Passer-by raises safety alarm over solar panel contractor

Director and contractor fined after ignoring safety warnings
1 day ago

RSK buys ground investigation specialist

Central Alliance is latest deal in acquisition spree by consultant
4 days ago

Plans in for Cheesegrater’s big brother in London

Tapering skyscraper at 100 Leadenhall will tower over the Cheesegrater
4 days ago

Vast £1.6bn South London estate rebuild approved

Clapham Park to be built out with 2,500 homes in mid-rise blocks
5 days ago

BESA appoints David Frise as new chief executive

Former submariner takes the helm at the Building Engineering Services Association
4 days ago

ISG clinches £17.5m Bradford leisure centre

Sedbergh sports and leisure facility will contain a 25m pool, gym
4 days ago

Berkeley unable to boost construction of new homes

Housing giant blames market conditions as it predicts £3.3bn profit in five years to 2021
4 days ago

Balfour Beatty tipped for £200m London student/office scheme

Landmark Vine Street project could become Balfour's second major contract with Urbanest
4 days ago

VolkerWessels UK margins edge up to 3.2%

Profits and order book grow by 7% on back of rising infrastructure spend
4 days ago

Weston Homes submits 1.2m sq ft Norwich scheme

Anglia Square scheme will provide over 1,000 homes, 40 shops and a 200-bed hotel
4 days ago

Network Rail seeks two geotechnical firms for £190m north deal

Scottish and North East earthworks delivery places up for grabs
4 days ago

Search to start for £400m Southend regen partner

Council searching for development partner to build 1,300 homes
5 days ago

Kier lifted by McNicholas deal in first half

Kier says claims and final account still to be settled on challenging Mersey Gateway project
5 days ago

Betting Spy: Man City can win Champions League

City look a good bet at 3/1 to go all the way
5 days ago

Contractor services