Two firms prosecuted over man’s fatal accident at work

A grandfather from Kent died in an accident at work after he fell six metres through a fragile skylight due to safety failings by both his employer and the owner of the warehouse.

Robert Rogers, 61, was working for Richard Parker, who was trading as Ovenden Engineering, which was contracted by Allied Domecq Spirits and Wine Ltd to fix a leak in the roof and clean the gutters of their warehouse in Kent.

Mr Rogers was on the roof with his brother, who also worked for Mr Parker, when he fell through one of the 80 skylights and hit the concrete floor below.

Mr Rogers suffered multiple injuries and later died in hospital as a result of the accident at work.

He left behind his wife Jennifer, two sons and nine grandchildren.

The accident at work occurred in November 2010 and was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The investigation identified failures by both Richard Parker and Allied Domecq Spirits and Wine Ltd. There was no safety equipment in place for anyone working on the roof of the warehouse, which was in itself fragile. This was despite the fact that Mr Parker’s employees worked on the roof of the warehouse as regularly as once a month.

There were no crawling boards, scaffolding, harnesses or nets to protect workers from risks of falling.

As the owner of the site, Allied Domecq had a responsibility to ensure that contractors planned their work and carried it out safely with proper measures in place.

Vicki Wright, expert personal injury lawyer at Swain & Co, says, “This is a tragic loss of life from an accident at work that could have been prevented.”

“There is widespread knowledge of the risks from working at height and of working on fragile roofs. Safety failings in relation to both these risks are unacceptable.”

“Whilst companies can rely to a degree on the expertise of a company to whom they have contracted work out to, this in itself does not mean that they can also contract out of their health and safety obligations and responsibilities. They still have a duty to ensure that there is a safe system of work in place and that their contractors follow agreed safety procedures. In addition, employers also have a duty to ensure their staff have the equipment to carry out their job safely.”

If you have been injured in an accident at work that was not your fault, Vicki is on hand to give you free initial advice as to the possibility of making a claim for personal injury.

We can act on a no win no fee basis for you.

So, call Vicki for free on 0800 0351 999