Suspended jail sentences after fatal roof fall

Newcastle Crown Court heard how that on 16 November 2015, the worker was carrying out over-cladding work, involving the installation of new roofing material over an existing fragile asbestos cement roof, at an industrial building on West Chirton (South) Industrial Estate, North Shields, Tyne and Wear.

An HSE investigation found that the method of work was unsafe and there were inadequate precautions to prevent or mitigate against falls from or through the roof as well as an effective assessment of risk, selection and use of appropriate work equipment, safe system of work and effective supervision.

Ian Blacklin of Capheaton, Newcastle upon Tyne, pleaded guilty to safety breaches and was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months.

Dennis Spence of Denton, Newcastle upon Tyne, also pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 14 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months with £1,800 costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Andrea Robbins, said: “In this case there was a significant failure to plan and manage the over-cladding of roofs over fragile roofing material.

“Roof work should only be undertaken by people who have the necessary skills knowledge and experience, assessing the associated risks, selecting and using appropriate equipment to prevent/mitigate falls and ensure effective supervision is in place.”

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