Following a catastrophic health and safety breach which caused the traumatic death of a worker on site, his contract manager has been handed a 2 year jail sentence after forging signatures on an important risk assessment document (which had never been undertaken).
The incident took place when Kenneth Drake had been sent to work on the roof of an ironmongers, when he fell through a fragile roof light. He sustained fatal head injuries from the fall at height. An investigation from the Greater Manchester Police and HSE, found that no netting had been provided or fitted that would've caught Mr Drake when the fall had taken place.
Mark Bray who was the contract manager for Roofing Solutions at the time of the incident, had assessed the scene before the work had taken place and had insisted that no netting was necessary. However, following the consequential investigation, a field expert stated that the netting was needed, nor would it be difficult or expensive to source and fit.
Following the incident in September 2015, Mr Bray forged Mr Drake's signature on a risk assessment document, that made it seem like Mr Drake had agreed with (and was aware) of the procedures and dangers of the project he had to undertake on the roof. The subsequent trial, found Mr Bray guilty of failures of section 7 of the Health and Safety Work Act, but also guilty of perverting the course of justice. He was sentenced to two years in prison after admitting failure to take reasonable care of others.
Roofing Consultants Ltd (who employed both gentlemen), pleaded guilty to breaching section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety Work Act and were fined £100,000 with an additional £3,000 in costs. A second company who were involved in the project on the roof, High Ridge Roofing Solutions pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 15 (2) of the Construction Regulations 2015, and fined £12,000 with another £33,000 in costs.
Speaking after the trial, HSE principal inspector Laura Royles said 'Falls from height remain the biggest cause of workplace fatalities in the UK construction industry, and it is vital that those involved in planning, managing and carrying out work at height understand the risks and identify and implement suitable control measures to prevent injury'.