Maltby car dealers fined after roof fall

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TWO Rotherham car dealers have been fined for health and safety breaches after an employee fell through a roof in Maltby.

Father and son Paul and Elliott Green, trading as Douglas Paul Cars at Maltby, were ordered to pay a total of £5,630 each last week following a prosecution by Rotherham Council.

Rotherham Magistrates Court heard that a valeter and driver employed at the company’s Used Mini Centre on Rotherham Road fell more than 11ft through a skylight on the workshop roof on 11th June last year.

The 59-year old landed on the workshop floor below and suffered three fractures to his back and also a fracture to his left elbow. He has since recovered from his injuries and has returned to work.

An investigation by Adrian Monkhouse, an environmental health officer for Rotherham Council, found that at the time the employee was attempting to seal leaks on the workshop roof.

He had accessed the roof through one of the office windows on the first floor of the premises but as he was working, caught his foot on a roof bolt and tripped and fell through the skylight.

No assessment of the risk to the safety of employees whilst accessing and working on the workshop roof had been carried out by Douglas Paul Cars and consequently no precautions were taken to prevent falls through the fragile surface of the roof, through the skylights or from the edge of the roof.

The court also heard that during the investigation two improvement notices were served instructing the company to assess the risk to employees and non-employees of falling a distance liable to cause personal injury, and also to provide warning notices at the approach to fragile surfaces through which a person may fall. Both notices were complied with within the specified timescales.

Neil Concannon, solicitor for Rotherham Council, said an aggravating feature of the case was that despite the fragility of the roof and the incident that had occurred, another employee was also taken up onto the roof to repair the skylight following the original accident.

Paul Green of Sheffield Road, South Anston, pleaded guilty to the two charges and was fined £1,000 for each charge, ordered to pay costs of £3,615 plus a £15 victim surcharge. Elliott Green of Woodlaithes Village, also pleaded guilty to the two charges and ordered to pay the same amount.

In mitigation, counsel for the defendants said there was never intention by the defendants to put any of their employees at risk and that following the accident they had taken steps to remedy the deficiencies identified.