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Director fined £30k after roof collapse narrow escape

The director of a Sheffield roofing firm has been fined £30,000 and ordered to pay £7,026.58 in costs for endangering workers after a building partially collapsed during roofing work.

Sheffield Magistrates’ Court heard that on 24 February 2016, Jason Lycett, director of roofing firm Brooke Ren Limited, was responsible for constructing a pair of two-storey residential blocks at Church Street in Barnsley following the demolition of a pub.

A Health and Safety Executive investigation found that the tiling of the timber roof structures built for each block had not been completed.

Three roofers were working on the roof of block B, transferring tiles from ground level using a tile hoist and distributing them over the roof, when the tile hoist broke down.

Two roofers had got off the roof and a third was climbing down a ladder from a scaffold when the roof structure collapsed, demolishing a small wall and damaging the scaffold.

While there were no injuries, the HSE pointed out that the workers would have been on the roof at the time of its collapse had it not been for the broken tile hoist.

The HSE found that Brooke Ren had been told during the preconstruction phase that the roof structure needed to be designed by a specialist, but that this did not happen until after the incident.

At the time of the collapse, the structure was not able to withstand the loads applied to it, the investigation concluded.

Brook Ren Limited pleaded guilty to an offence under Regulation 19 (1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.

Director Jason Lycett of 289A Manchester Road, Millhouse Green, Sheffield, was found guilty of breaching section 37 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work act.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Alan Sheldon said: “Principal contractors have an important role in managing health and safety risks during the construction phase, so they must have the skills, knowledge, experience and, where relevant, organisational capability to carry out this work.

“Where directors are found to be negligent in carrying out their roles, they too may face legal proceedings associated with the same health and safety management failings.

“Although there were no injuries, matters could have been very different had the workers still been on the roof at the time of its collapse.”

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