Mark Francis Bray, 49, of Warrington was sentenced at Manchester Crown Square Crown Court yesterday after pleading guilty to safety offences and perverting the course of justice.
The court heard that on Thursday 24 September 2015, 54-year-old Kenneth Drake – known by his loved ones as Ken – fell through a fragile roof on which he was working, to the floor below.
As a result of the fall he sustained fatal head injuries.
Ken was working as a roofer at the time, employed by a company called Roofing Consultants Ltd where Bray was the contracts manager responsible for the safety of employees.
An investigation by Greater Manchester Police and the HSE found fundamental breaches of duty on the part of those who organised the work to the roof – Roofing Consultants Limited and a second company who were also involved called High Ridge Roofing Solutions.
Practicable steps that could and should have been taken to ensure the safety of Ken and his colleagues had not been taken.
These included providing netting, which Bray insisted was not needed.
Experts told investigators that netting would have cost approximately £1250 to install.
During the investigation officers examined Bray’s computer and found that he had altered records.
He presented a risk assessment document containing Ken’s forged signature in order to mislead and attempt to justify his actions.
Roofing Consultants Limited have been fined £100,000 and were ordered to pay £30,000 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to safety breaches.
High Ridge Roofing Solutions Limited have been fined £12,000 and were ordered to pay £33,000 in prosecution costs after being found guilty of breaching CDM Regulations
Detective Chief Inspector Richard Eales, of GMP’s Major Incident Team, said: “First and foremost all of our thoughts are with Ken’s loving family, who have been left absolutely devastated by his death.
“I hope today they are provided with a measure of comfort at the end of what has been a very long and difficult road.
“Today’s result should serve as a stark reminder to those who employ people and have a responsibility to look after them in the workplace – cutting corners in this way is dangerous and can ultimately rip families apart, because it was these actions that had absolutely cataclysmic consequences and led to Ken’s unnecessary and preventable death.
“The fact that Bray went on to forge Ken’s signature demonstrates than rather than thinking about Ken and his loved ones in the aftermath of his death, Bray’s sole thought was to cover his tracks and prevent the investigation from establishing what had occurred.
“This has been a thorough and meticulous investigation, led by a dedicated team of detectives from our Major Incident Team, as well as professionals from the Health and Safety executive, and following today’s result I would like to publically thank them for their commitment.
“My final words are reserved for Ken and I hope this sentence – and the fact Bray will have to serve a prison sentence – serves as justice for him and his family.”