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Roofing boss jailed over worker’s 16 ft fall

The boss of a roofing firm has been jailed after a worker fell from the roof of a commercial property and died a week later.

Patrick McCarthy (trading as All Care Home Improvements) was given a 14-month custodial sentence after the death of Mr Andrei-Ionel Hutanu in 2019. No scaffolding or other measures had been put in place to prevent falls from the roof.

Harrow Crown Court heard how 33-year-old Mr Hutanu and another man were working at the rear of commercial premises in Neasden on 19 August 2019. While his co-worker had been instructed to remove building materials from a flat roof, Mr Hutanu had been instructed to carry out repair work on a tiled pitched roof. He was working on it from a roofing ladder when he fell approximately 16 feet onto a concrete alleyway below.

He fractured his neck and sustained other serious head injuries in the fall. Despite being taken by air ambulance to St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, he sadly died a week later, on 26 August 2019.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident found that 37-year-old McCarthy had failed to take any steps to prevent falls from height by failing to install scaffolding around the perimeter of the building or flat roof where both men were working.

Patrick McCarthy (trading as All Care Home Improvements) pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.  He received a 14-month custodial sentence last week.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Philip Jordan said: ‘This tragic incident could have been easily avoided. Assessing and planning work at height is essential to ensuring that suitable and sufficient measures are in place to prevent falls from height.

‘The custodial sentence imposed on Mr McCarthy should underline to everyone in the construction industry that the courts, and HSE, take a failure to follow the regulations extremely seriously. HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against individuals or companies that fall below the required standards.’

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Picture of Steve Kilburn
Steve Kilburn
I initially trained as an industrial chemist working in a variety of manufacturing environments eventually moving into quality management which grew to encompass environmental and occupational health and safety management systems. I hold a Masters Degree in Health and Safety law and Environmental Law and a Post Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Waste Management and I am a Graduate Level Member of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). In my spare time I enjoy reading, my favourite author is Stephen King, and listening to music, generally from the late 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.
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