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02nd November 2011

Firm fined after roof fall death

A firm has been fined £145,000 after the death of a father-of-one, two years on from a tragic roof fall.

Alan Kerwin was working for J Mills (Contractors) Ltd on the roof of a warehouse in Ashton-under-Lyne in March 2007 when he fell through it.

The 32-year-old, from Lower Broughton, Salford, had been working on a skylight on Kayley Industrial Estate when he fell 10 metres to a concrete floor, suffering a fractured skull and other serious injuries.

The fall left Mr Kerwin suffering post-traumatic epilepsy and unable to go back to work. Around two years after the fall, he suffered a fatal epileptic seizure.

The Health and Safety Executive brought the prosecution after an investigation found the firm had not implemented safety measures to prevent the fall.

Days before the fall, a HSE inspector had advised Mr Kerwin's line manager about safety measure for roof working. However, the warning was ignored, Manchester Crown Court heard.

J Mills (Contractors) Ltd, of Higher Road in Urmston, admitted breaching health and safety law. The company was also ordered to pay £7,700 costs.

Laura Thompson, solicitor in IBB’s Personal Injury team, said: "This case highlights the importance of employers complying with both their common law duty of care to ensure employees are kept safe while at work as well as their statutory duties under Regulations in place since 1992.

"It is clear that there are continuing failures to prevent accidents of this nature, despite the time since these Regulations have been in place. However, justice appears to have been done on this occasion.

"It is likely that the family of the victim will recover compensation that may also bring some small relief, following what must have been a particularly harrowing time."

IBB Solicitors has built a reputation for quality of service in pursuing compensation in cases involving accident, illness or death. If you would like advice on personal injury issues, you can contact a member of IBB's Personal Injury team, call us on 08456 381 381 or email enquiries@ibblaw.co.uk.

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