Roofer jailed after worker fell to death from London building with no scaffolding


roofer who failed to erect scaffolding at a building in north-west London has been jailed after a worker plunged 16 feet to his death.

Andrei-Ionel Hutanu, 33, was working on the roof of a commerical premises in Neasden on August 19, 2019, when he fell and landed on a concrete alleyway below, suffering catastrophic head and neck injuries.

An investigation later found no scaffolding had been erected at the site.

Mr Hutanu had been working there with another man, who had been instructed to remove building materials from a flat roof.

Mr Hutanu had been instructed to carry out repair work on a tiled pitched roof, and was working on it from a ladder at the rear of the property when he slipped and fell.

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He fractured his neck and sustained serious head injuries.

He was rushed by air ambulance to St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, where he died a week later, on August 26, 2019.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) – the national regulator for workplace health and safety – launched an investigation.

It found Patrick McCarthy, who was trading as All Care Home Improvements, had failed to take any steps to prevent falls from height. He had failed to install scaffolding around the perimeter of the building, or the flat roof where the men were working.

McCarthy, 37, of Bashley Road in Ealing, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

He was sentenced to 14 months in prison, at Harrow Crown Court on April 4.

Following the hearing, 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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