Roofer left in wheelchair after scaffold fall

Grant Prior 11 years ago

Three Essex contractors have been fined a total of £53,000 after a roofer fell five metres leaving him confined to a wheelchair for life.

Jeremy Bishop, 46 from Romford was re-roofing a house in Loughton in January 2010 when he fell from scaffolding.

He suffered severe injuries to his head, chest and back and was airlifted to the Royal London Hospital where he spent three weeks in intensive care before being transferred to a specialist spinal injuries unit for 8 months of intensive rehabilitation treatment.

Vincent Page and his firm V.Page Building Services Ltd of Epping were contracted to build an extension.

The roofing was sub-contracted to Quality Roofs Ltd of Chingford and its director Alan Tyler and the scaffolding to Philip Blakeman, trading as Access Specialists of Romford.

Harlow Magistrates’ Court heard that an HSE investigation found that mid rails had not been installed along the entire rear elevation of the scaffolding and there was nothing in place to prevent falls from the gable ends of the house.

The HSE served V.Page Building Services Ltd with a Prohibition Notice to prevent further work on the roof until guard rails were installed.

HSE Inspector Adam Hills said after the case: “The injuries Mr Bishop sustained were life changing.

“He was in hospital for eight months, is still undergoing rehabilitation and will be in a wheelchair for the rest of this life.

“This could have been prevented if the companies and individuals had taken a few simple industry standard safety precautions by installing the guard rails as edge protection.”

Page, of Ongar,  admitted safety breaches and was fined £20,000 with £8,000 costs.

Quality Roofs Ltd and its director Alan Tyler of  Chingford pleaded guilty to the same offences. The company was fined £10,000 with £4,000 costs. Tyler was fined £20,000 with costs of £4,000.

Philip Blakeman, of Ongar, trading as Access Specialists admitted safety breaches and was fined £3,000 with costs of £2,000.

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