Asbestos company fined after worker fell through roof

Asbestos company fined after worker fell through roof

A company in Scotland has admitted to failing to provide a safe work environment for an employee who fell through a garage roof while conducting work in 2017.

The company recently filed for voluntary liquidation but pleaded guilty to one charge of failing to ensure proper safety planning and supervision. 

It was heard in court that the employee of NJS Scotland fell through the roof after he lost his balance. He suffered a broken back and has been unable to work. 

Fiscal depute Ross Canning explained that “there was a risk of falling through the cement sheets or off the roof edges because the team had access ladders and no other work at height equipment to use on site.

“The action of cutting the heads of the bolts meant that the metal and cement sheets were no longer adequately fixed to the roof structure.

“When the injured party walked on the loose metal top sheets it made them vulnerable to movement and thereby increased the risk of falls.

“No fall protection was provided by the accused to prevent such falls – all that was provided was step ladders.”

Sheriff Valerie Johnston said while “It was an isolated incident, but it was also a very experienced company. There was no harm to members of the public in this situation, but there was a clear risk of harm on a flat roof where the stability of the roof had already been compromised before the employee had went on to it.

“I’m aware that the fine must be proportionate to the means of the accused company, and I note the serious short term and the long term injuries that have been sustained by the employee and that a financial claim has been settled.”

Sheriff Johnstone fined NJS Scotland £8,000 due to the firm making an early guilty plea. 

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