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Roofer sentenced for health and safety failings

A self-employed part-time roofer has today been sentenced after both exposing a homeowner to carbon monoxide and putting co-workers at risk while working at height.

Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates’ Court heard how on, 9 March 2016, Mr Robert Thompson was in control of work to remove a chimney at a house in Llanharan. Mr Thompson put his co-workers at risk of falling from a height liable to cause serious physical harm or death. He also exposed the homeowner, his wife and others who visited the property to carbon monoxide.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the gas supply to the property was not isolated before or during the day’s work and rubble fell down the chimney damaging and blocking the flue. The investigation also found that no scaffolding or other fall protection was in place to work safely at height.

Robert Thompson of Meadowbank Close, Cwmbach, Aberdare, Mid Glamorgan was found guilty of breaching Section 6 (3) of the Work at Height Regulations and Regulation 8(2) of Gas Safety (Installation & Use) 1998 and was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months, plus 180 hours community work. Mr Thompson was also ordered to pay £1,000 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Simon Breen commented: “Persons carrying out building work, particularly on chimneys. must make sure that they do not block or obstruct an air supply vent or flue and risk the lives of those in the property. They also need to take suitable precautions to prevent workers falling and suffering serious injuries”.

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain's national regulator for workplace health and safety. We seek to prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise.
  2. Further information is available about the legislation referred to in this case.
  3. Latest HSE press releases.
Updated: 2018-12-11