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Norwich repair firm fined £150,000 after worker injured in two-metre fall from roof

A Norwich firm has been fined £150,000 after a worker fell from a roof. Photo: Adrian Judd

A Norwich firm has been fined £150,000 after a worker fell from a roof. Photo: Adrian Judd

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A Norwich repair and maintenance firm has been fined £150,000 after an employee fell two metres while working on a roof.

RFT Repairs Limited, which is based at King Street in the city centre, pleaded guilty to breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

On Wednesday, March 13, Barking Magistrates’ Court heard how, on September 7, 2016, a roofer was working with a colleague to repair a leaky roof in Seaton Avenue in Felixstowe.

There was no edge protection around the roof, the court heard, and access to it was via an unsecured ladder, so as the roofer used the ladder it slipped, and he fell from roughly two metres.

He suffered contusion and bruising to his head, along with hearing damage.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found the assessment of the work prior to the arrival of the roofers on site was inadequate.

There was neither a system for checking the correct equipment for work at height was being used, nor for supervision of the work on site.

The firm - which is part of the Flagship Group - was fined £150,000 and ordered to pay cots of £5,391.76.

Health and Safety Executive inspector Prentiss Clarke-Jones, sparking after the sentencing, said: “Roof work requires a high level of planning, and supervision should be in place to ensure it is carried out safely.

“This incident so easily could have been fatal - work at height is a well-documented, well-regulated risk and there is no excuse for getting it wrong.”

Liam Betts, managing director of RFT Services, said: “We strive to provide a safe working environment for all our staff and we are sorry when an accident such as this occurs.

“We have rigorous health and safety procedures and policies in place that are constantly being reviewed. To maintain our good safety record, robust training and risk assessment protocols, we have undertaken a full and detailed review of our internal processes and reiterated our standards to all staff, which we will monitor to ensure that the failings cannot be repeated in the future.”

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