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Roofer jailed after worker’s fatal fall

Date Posted: 12 April 2023

Harrow Crown Court has given Patrick McCarthy a 14-month custodial sentence after a worker fell to his death from the roof of a property in North London.

The incident happened while 33-year-old Andrei-Ionel Hutanu and another man were working at the rear of commercial premises in Neasden on 19 August 2019.

Hutanu had been instructed to carry out repair work on a tiled pitched roof and his co-worker had been instructed to remove building materials from a flat roof.

Hutanu was working on it from a roofing ladder when he fell approximately 16 feet onto a concrete alleyway below. No scaffolding or other measures had been put in place to prevent falls from the roof.

Hutanu 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 died a week later.

Failure to prevent falls from height

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident found 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.

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 at a hearing on 4 April.

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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