Company fined £300,000 after worker dies from fall

A flooring retail company has received a fine of £300,000 after a self-employed contractor fell 4m through an asbestos cement roof panel and died. In March 2019 Taylor Grange (Retail) Limited, trading as Floors Today, appointed Lukman Hakim to undertake repair works to the unsound roof at the company’s showroom in Leicester.

Mr Hakim accessed the roof to monitor the progress of the work being done by two workers when it caved in, resulting in him falling around 4m to the concrete floor of the showroom below. To gain access on to the roof an unsecured and unfooted ladder was in place which did not extend adequately to provide a handhold. Workers would then have to cross the full width of the roof to complete the repair work.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed that the client company did not follow its own contractor selection procedures. This resulted in them appointing a contractor who did not possess the skills, knowledge and experience needed to plan and complete the work using established control measures and safe ways of working.

As a result, all three men involved in the work were exposed to a risk of falling a distance liable to cause personal injury when accessing the roof via the unsecured ladder or when traversing across unprotected fragile roof panels. Those inside the building were also at risk of being hit should a person or object had fallen through the roof.

Leicester Magistrates’ Court heard that Taylor Grange (Retail) Limited, formerly of Greenfield Crescent, Edgbaston, Birmingham, are now in liquidation and no longer in business. Nevertheless, they were found guilty of breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Regulation 8(3) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. They were fined £300,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,713.33 at a hearing on 27 July 2022.