Roofer smashes pelvis in church plunge

Grant Prior 4 years ago
Share

A Southampton builder suffered life-changing injuries after falling five metres through a hole in a church roof in South East London during repair work.

Father of three Allen Smith, 58, sustained a collapsed lung, smashed pelvis and head injuries in the fall at Anerley Methodist Church in Penge,  SE London, on 25 October 2011.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court hear that Smith was part of a four-strong team from Nationwide Roofing and Cladding Ltd including the firm’s director.

The gang was replacing the church roof owing to a series of leaks. They were three-quarters of the way through the job when the incident happened.

Smith was standing on a lightweight staging board while grinding off bolts, working from the roof ridge down toward the gutter and sliding the asbestos cement sheets down to labourers to lift onto a forklift truck.

As the work went on, one of the labourers heard a loud bang and turned to see Smith had fallen through the roof opening to the hall floor below. A length of the staging board was also on the floor.

Smith was in hospital for two months, has had a subsequent operation on his lungs, will need a hip replacement and is likely to suffer long-term arthritis. He is unlikely to ever work again.

An HSE investigation showed the firm had failed to install sufficient safeguards to protect workers from falling or to mitigate the impact of a fall if one happened.

These could have included scaffolding around the elevations and underneath the working area, and a safe working platform able to support the weight of workers fitted with guard rails.

Nationwide Roofing and Cladding of Fair Oak, Eastleigh, Hampshire, was fined £8,600 and ordered to pay £11,280 in costs after admitting a breach of safety regulations.

After the case, HSE Inspector Wendy Garnett said: “Mr Smith suffered life-threatening injuries in this fall and will have to live with the disabling consequences.

“However, his fall could have been avoided had Nationwide Roofing followed standard industry practice.

“The firm should have been fully aware of its duties and responsibilities to the labourers before starting the roof replacement works.

“But Nationwide neglected to put in place sufficient protective measures to guard against falls.

“This is not acceptable when you consider the devastating effects that a fall has on the lives of workers and their families.

“Firms of all sizes need to be aware of their duties to identify the risks of working at height and to take action to manage those risks.”

Latest news

Carillion woes hit King’s Cross office project

Hunt on for a new contractor to deliver 11-storey office scheme
21 hours ago

Persimmon chairman resigns after bonus controversy

House builder admits £100m+ bonus plan should have been capped
20 hours ago

Green light for 1,300 homes at Nestlé factory

Barratt London to build 1,300 homes at former factory site in on outskirts of west London
20 hours ago

Galliford Try lands £54m Manchester Airport project

Contractor wins second taxiway project on £1bn airport upgrade
21 hours ago

Czech facade specialist starts £60m London job

Sipral starts Canary Wharf residential twin towers for Ecoworld Ballymore jv
1 day ago

McLaren gets start date for £58m Banbury shopping centre

Construction to begin in February on Castle Quay expansion
21 hours ago

Winners named for £400m infrastructure consultancy

Costain and Mace among line-up for Crown Commercial Services infrastructure framework
1 day ago

Contractor in court after workers exposed to silica dust

Safety inspectors find workers dry cutting bricks in a basement
20 hours ago

Betting Spy: David Moyes – an apology

The West Ham boss is working his magic and the Irons are a good bet away at stuttering Stoke
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
2 months ago

Crossrail site protest as Balfour lays off 50 sparks

Contractor insists redundancies are unconnected to £5,000-a-head finishing bonus demands
3 days ago

Interserve seals £180m lending deal for extra headroom

Debbie White seals deal for more time to restructure business
2 days ago

Severfield lands steelwork package for Google HQ

Specialist to start work in June for main contractor Lendlease at King's Cross site
2 days ago

Kier secures £138m London health deal

Kier P22 work haul soars to £400m
2 days ago

Scape research reveals need for huge school building push

Procurement body calls for national school building strategy
2 days ago

Carillion wins another £11.6m rail electrification deal

Network Rail awards station upgrade deal on Glasgow to Edinburgh route
3 days ago

Galliford Try wins £24m M49 junction

Work to start on new junction at Avonmouth in the New Year
2 days ago

Costain director joins pipe-lining specialist

Tim Bowen takes the helm at Aquam to deliver ambitious expansion plan
3 days ago

Highways England to trial self healing roads

Sunflower oil capsules in asphalt could save £260m a year
3 days ago

Tarmac swaps quarries for Breedon concrete plants

Tarmac offloads four quarries for 27 Breedon ready-mixed concrete plants
3 days ago

Mace wins £140m London School of Economics project

Work to start on Marshall building once McGee completes demolition in the spring
3 days ago

Construction start date for £350m Tower Hamlets site

Planning go-ahead for Galliard Homes and Lindhill at Ailsa Wharf
4 days ago

Specialist Mick George moves into housebuilding

Civils contractor forms joint venture to target housing market
3 days ago

Fusion21 launches £150m sprinkler supplier panel

Local authorities and housing associations call for post-Grenfell preferred supplier list
3 days ago

Ardmore wins £77m Stratford hotel contract

Two-year build programme gets underway at the 18-storey Gantry development
4 days ago

Lovell to start £30m Doncaster Lakeside scheme

Eastern division boasts £100m forward order book from string of schemes
3 days ago

Balfour Beatty on track for 2-3% margin by late 2018

Leo Quinn confident of paying down borrowings as they fall due in 2018
4 days ago

Skanska and Multiplex eye £100m City fringe office job

Aldgate Developments prepares to start £100m phase 2 office complex
4 days ago

Speller Metcalfe wins “non-confrontational” £16m contract

Contractor to start revamp of Derby Silk Mill next year using innovative procurement model
4 days ago

Plans for new £80m library at University of Bristol

Design team appointed as construction set to start in summer of 2019
4 days ago

Contractor services