Estate Agent Fined After Contractor Killed in Fall

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has fined a firm of estate agents after a contractor who was working for them was killed when he fell from a roof.

Roger Jary, 79, was a contractor for Morris, Marshall & Poole (MMP), a firm of estate agents with offices in Mid-Wales and Shropshire. He was carrying out minor repairs to a bungalow in Welshpool, which was managed by MMP on behalf of the landlord, when the accident happened. A plastic roof panel gave way as he attempted to cross it and he fell to the ground two metres below, suffering fatal injuries.

The HSE conducted an investigation and found that MMP had failed to ensure that the repair work was properly planned and organised or that Mr Jary was competent to perform it. A prosecution ensued and MMP pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The firm was fined £75,000 and ordered to pay costs of more than £11,000.

HSE inspector Chris Wilcox said, “Roger Jary might be alive today if simple safety measures had been put in place. Morris, Marshall & Poole had a duty to ensure the safety of those they employed – whether working directly for them or not.

“If your business is managing properties then you must ensure that anyone you engage to maintain those properties is competent and carries out their work safely to ensure their safety and that of others.”

Says Martin Bloom, “Businesses have a responsibility to protect the health and safety of those working for them, which includes contractors as well as employees. A detailed risk assessment should be carried out and steps taken to remove or reduce any health and safety risks identified. We can advise you to ensure you are fully compliant with your duties under health and safety legislation.”