HSE v Jones Building Contractors
On Friday 7 April 2017 at Canterbury Crown Court a jury cleared Jones Building Contractors Ltd of Health and Safety offences brought against it following the death of a sub-contractor roofer. The company was represented by David Whittaker at the 5-day trial.
The offences arose out of the tragic events at Eastwell Manor Hotel in Kent on 12 March 2014. Jones Building Contractors had been engaged by the hotel to conduct remedial work on a section of the roof at the hotel. The roof had a castellated wall, sections of which were only 600mm in height. As this was below 950mm, there was a legal requirement to have perimeter scaffolding in place or some other equivalent measure. By the third day of the roof-work, no measures had been put in place and, on that day, the sub-contractor roofer fell over the wall and to his death.
The defendant company argued that it had properly planned the job in that it had recognised that part of the parapet wall was below the legally required height. It had produced a written risk assessment that identified adequate control measures, namely mobile barriers or harnesses. Moreover, it had appropriately supervised the job by attending the site on the first day and informing the sub-contractor that he should not begin work until the control measures were put in place. It argued that it had done all that was reasonably practicable to ensure that the work at height was carried out in a safe manner.
To read about the case in more detail, please click here.