Signage Company fined £120,000 plus £37,655 costs when employee falls to his death

A manufacturer of signage and displays for high street retailers was recently in court and sentenced
for safety breaches after an employee fell through a roof light to his death.

Two colleagues were working on the roof of Whiteghyll Plastics Ltd in an attempt to block out the
sunlight to reduce the heat within the factory by covering roof lights with blackout vinyl in the height
of summer, June 2014.

Richard Perry, 43, one of the workers on the roof, unfortunately fell 5.5 metres through a fragile roof
light into the factory below.

The company, Whiteghyll Plastics Ltd failed to supervise the two colleagues on the roof, and it has
been shown through investigations that there were several missed opportunities by the management
to stop them working on the dangerous roof.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recently prosecuted the firm over the incident, the firm pleaded
guilty to breaching Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 regulations and was fined £120,000, plus court
costs of £37,655 by Bradford Crown Court.

HSE inspector Andrea Jones said: “Two employees were on the roof for some time with no precautions
in place to prevent falling through fragile roof material or off the open edge of the roof. This accident
would not have happened if these two employees had been appropriately supervised by management.
She continued: “Falls from height, particularly from roofs is the highest cause of fatal accidents.”

Richard Perry was a family man, his wife, Samantha, was pregnant at the time of the accident with
their second son. Samantha did not expect to be left the sole carer of her two sons and widowed at
such a young age.

Samantha said: “Not only did my boys lose their Daddy but I lost my husband, my best friend and my
soul mate. I feel as if my heart was ripped out and died with him. I kissed him goodbye on Friday
13th June 2014 and he never came home.”
She continued: “I never expected this to happen. Nobody should die at work and leave behind a young
family and wife. He had his whole life ahead of him.”
In this devastating incident the management team should have provided appropriate temporary fall
protection equipment, roof edge protection and height safety planning for the two employees to work on
the roof safely. Training courses to work safely at height and equipment for permanent and temporary
fall arrest are available from CSS Worksafe. To discuss equipment and training please call one of our
friendly team on 0800 783 0757.