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HSE outburst sparks rooflight row

NEWS

A ROW between the rooflight industry and the Health and Safety Executive was brewing this week after chief inspector for construction Kevin Myers said rooflights should not be used in new buildings.

As Construction News went to press the Advisor Committee for Roofwork, which the HSE was instrumental in setting up, was due to meet to discuss comments made by Mr Myers that 'rooflights in new builds should not be used or not be fragile' National Association of Rooflight Manufacturers chairman Vince Cranmer, who sits on the committee, accused Mr Myers of destroying 'six years of work' designed to achieve high safety standards in the industry.

Mr Cranmer, who is also commercial director of rooflight manufacturer Hambleside Danelaw, said some rooflights on the market are 'stronger than steel'and safety standards for installing and maintaining them are very high.

He said: 'There is a lot of concern about the comments he made from major contractors and manufacturers alike.'

The only fragile roof test accepted by the HSE was drawn up in 2000 by the committee and is known as the Red Book. It superseded the classification of fragile and non-fragile roof sheeting material SIR 30, which had operated since 1991.

Falling from height is the biggest killer in the industry and pressure to improve the death toll means working at height is a priority area for the HSE's construction division.