Britain's HSE Issues $168,000 Fine in Roofing Death

Saying "everybody involved in planning and carrying out construction work has some responsibility for ensuring the health and safety of the workers," Britain's Health and Safety Executive urged employers to learn from a $136,000 fine issued by a court in a case involving a 28-year-old's death while working on a fragile roof in June 2003. Telford Tower & Scaffolding Ltd of Shropshire, Darren Brownbill's employer, pleaded guilty to a charge under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

"This was a tragic incident in which a man lost his life in circumstances that could so easily have been prevented. The dangers presented by fragile roof materials have been well known for many years, yet were not taken into consideration in this case," said Ian Connor, HSE's acting principal inspector. "Considerable time had been spent planning the job and any one of those involved had the opportunity to realize that somebody could fall through the warehouse roof. Simple steps could then have been taken to prevent this death.

HSE warned companies to implement proper risk assessments when working with weaker roofs.

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