Director jailed for five years over roof fall tragedy

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A operation brag has been sentenced to 5 years successful jailhouse aft a roofer fell 2 storeys to his decease connected site.

Steven Wenham, manager of Hove-based Total Contractors, was sentenced astatine Lewes Crown Court this week, aft being recovered blameworthy of manslaughter by gross negligence earlier successful the year.

Meanwhile, John Spiller, manager of Brighton steadfast Southern Asphalt, was fixed a 15-month situation condemnation implicit the aforesaid incident.

The tribunal heard successful April that 60-year-old Graham Tester had been utilizing a ladder secured by 2 nails into a timber framework connected a gathering tract connected Brunswick Street West successful Hove connected 27 July 2018 erstwhile helium fell.

Tester had been subcontracted by Southern Asphalt for the job. The steadfast pleaded blameworthy to an offence nether the Health and Safety astatine Work Act, portion Spiller, 52, of Fishersgate Close successful Portslade, was convicted of the aforesaid offence.

Wenham, 48, of Charlotte Street successful Brighton, was recovered blameworthy of 2 offences nether the Health and Safety astatine Work Act, regarding nonaccomplishment to decently safeguard against superior wounded oregon decease from a autumn from height. Total Contractors was convicted of the aforesaid 2 charges.

Total Contractors was fined £190,000, and ordered to wage £30,000 successful costs and a £170 unfortunate surcharge. Wenham was disqualified from being a institution manager for 10 years.

Southern Asphalt was fined £120,000, and ordered to wage costs of £20,000 and a unfortunate surcharge of £170.

An inspection by the Health and Safety Executive recovered aggregate information failings, including an lack of scaffolding oregon barriers to support those moving astatine height.

Sussex Police detective inspector James Meanwell said: “The severity of these custodial sentences show the seriousness of employers failing successful their work of attraction to their employees.

“Graham Tester’s decease was an avoidable calamity that has had a devastating interaction connected his household and friends.

“These sentences should service arsenic a informing to each employers that you are liable for the information of your employees and volition look the consequences of a nonaccomplishment to adhere to those responsibilities.”

HSE information revealed earlier this twelvemonth that 24 operation workers died connected tract betwixt April and December 2021, 10 of which were owed to falls from height.

For the twelvemonth 2020/21, 39 fatal injuries were recorded astatine enactment successful the operation sector, which was little than the 42 reported successful the erstwhile year, but inactive supra the five-year mean of 36.