Construction Health and Safety Consultancy and CDM Adviser Services

Suspended Prison Sentence after Worker Falls from Height
Posted by David Cant on September 1, 2011
1 Comment

An unfortunate death of a worker has led to his friend and the contractor of the job to a suspended prison sentence.  The self-employed roofer asked a friend to help him with a job replacing a flat roof.  The roof was to be placed on a double garage on a house in Chelmsford, Essex. Steve Mason was hired to do the work, and he was accompanied to the job by his friend, James Waughman.

Stroke Led to Fall

While Mr Waughman was helping Mr Mason he suffered a stroke which caused him to fall off the garage roof. He fell through the rafters and landed on the floor of the garage below. He was taken to hospital and sadly passed away three weeks layer on July 17 2009.

Mr Mason appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court and he admitted that he breached section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act. Mr Mason had not taken all the precautions necessary to ensure he did everything to keep his employees safe while working for him.

One of the ways that health and safety services are able to help is by offering complete health and safety services which are designed to prevent accidents, and highlight areas of weakness in your business. Falls from height are all too common especially in the construction industry and everything needs to be done to prevent accidents like the one involving Mr Waughman from occurring.

Suspended Prison Sentence Should Be Used as a Warning to Other Roofing Contractors

A health inspector spoke to the press after Mr Mason received an 8 months prison sentence which was suspended for 1 year.  The inspector, Lesley Balkham, said that the suspended prison sentence would hopefully send out a powerful message to other roofing contractors like Mr Mason.

In this situation Mr Mason had not taken into account the risks that were involved in the job.  He failed to do everything possible to reduce the risks of an accident occurring and he could have prevented the situation from ending in death by doing more to make the work area safe.  In this situation guard rails should have been put up, unfortunately this was not the case.

In addition to the suspended prison sentence, Mr Mason was also ordered to pay £500 in costs. It is possible that Mr Mason made sure the area was safe it is possible that the fall would not have made Mr Waughman’s condition worse.

Accidents Can Be Prevented

Health and safety consultants are able to help every business no matter of the size.  It doesn’t matter if you are a one man show or if you have many employees working for you, health and safety needs to be of paramount importance.

Health and safety services are able to help you with training, for yourself or your workers, guidance on general health and safety and the risk assessment process. Falls from height are the major cause of accidents in the UK, and you will be prosecuted if you are found not to be doing everything in your power to prevent accidents from happening in your work place or on site.

To find out more about the health and safety services offered by Veritas why not get in touch today. Men and women are being injured and losing their lives needlessly all over the UK.  To do everything in your power to prevent accidents from happening call 0800 1488 677 and speak to the health and safety consultants about the possible steps forward.


David Cant is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner extraordinaire. He has a wealth of Industry experience and is the MD of Veritas Consulting. David also Blogs about Health and Safety here Health and Safety Consultants

His aim is to flavour Health and Safety with integrity, served with a side of humour You can find David on - Twitter and Google also Linkedin

This post has been filed in: Health and Safety Training, Workplace Safety

One Comment

  1. January 31, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    You solve my problem. Thank you sir. I like you post and also bookmark your blog for future posts.

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