Freight trailer firm fined for safety failings

By Michael Stones contact

- Last updated on GMT

The HSE warned of the dangers of working at height
The HSE warned of the dangers of working at height
A freight trailer manufacturer has been fined for safety failings after a prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Fraserburgh-based Gray & Adams Limited was prosecuted after one of its workers, John Strachan, suffered a fractured hand when he fell on a fragile roof.

The 50 year old fell on the roof of the firm’s brake department at the manufacturer’s Fraserburgh site on December 11 2013.

No warning notices

The roof was composed entirely of asbestos cement sheeting with some roof lights but the building carried no fragile roof warning notices to warn of the dangers of overhead working, Peterhead Sheriff Court was told.

Installation of the fragile roof, together with maintenance and cleaning had been carried out for some time without sufficient fall prevention measures in place, an HSE investigation revealed.

After the hearing HSE inspector Niall Miller said the firm should have taken precautions to protect workers operating on fragile surfaces.

“Everyone within the maintenance team was fully aware that the roof was fragile,”​ said Miller.

‘Wear safety harness’

“The risk assessment Gray & Adams had in place for working on roofs included the control measure ‘wear safety harness’ however this building roof had no system in place or any means for attaching a harness. The use of ‘crawling boards’ was not suitable or sufficient.”

The injured worker was fortunate not to have fallen through the roof, which could have caused a more serious or even fatal accident, he added.

Fatal falls

A quarter of all workers killed during work at height involve falls through fragile materials, such as roof lights and asbestos cement roofing sheets.

  • HSE

“Following this incident a new risk assessment for roof work was carried out by the company and this identified the need to investigate further fall protection measures.”

Gray & Adams Limited, of South Road, Fraserburgh, pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 6(3) of The Working at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £5,300.

A quarter of all workers killed during work at height involve falls through fragile materials, such as roof lights and asbestos cement roofing sheets, according to the HSE.

Information from the HSE about safe working at height is available here​.

Related topics: Supply Chain

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1 comment

were wondering what you recommend

Posted by thistleroofing,

We just moved to an area that is said to have a lot of storms, and we were wondering what you recommend. At first, we thought of just repairing a few places that look a little worn, but then, we were wondering if it's just better to replace the roof. We've heard that metal roofs are a great material to have for a roof, but we were wondering if they were the best in stormy areas. What are your thoughts and suggestions?

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