Firm in court after roofer’s fatal fall
A Hythe building firm has gone on trial after a workman plunged to his death from a roof at Eastwell Manor near Ashford.
S e l f - e mpl o y e d S t e p h e n Twyman fell eight metres onto a patio in March 2014 while working on a flat roof at the hotel in Boughton Aluph.
Now Jones Building Contractors, which hired the roofer to carry out repair work, has pleaded not guilty to two charges of failing to discharge its duties and breaching Health and Safety regulations.
Prosecutor James Hodivala told a jury at Canterbury Crown Court that as an employer, Jones BC had a legal duty to ensure that “all reasonable” safety measures were in place.
But he claimed that Mr Twyman, 51, had been working near a castellated wall with neither a harness nor scaffolding to prevent him falling.
He said: “Mr Twyman fell off the roof while performing routine work because there were no adequate safety measures in place ... no evidence of harnessing being used by Mr Twyman ... no scaffolding bars around the edge of the roof.”
The prosecutor said the company were given advice from Health and Safety inspectors about its legal duties during a routine site inspection in 2008.
The jury heard how Jones Building Contractors had done work for Eastwell Manor for between 15 to 20 years.
In February the company was asked to carry out work on a flat roof and it sub-contracted the work to Mr Twyman for a fee of £5,579 plus VAT.
The roofer arrived with a friend, roofer Lee Gregory, to start work the following month.
Mr Gregory told the jury that he had known Mr Twyman since they were teenagers and had worked together on a number of occasions.
“He was a big fella, overweight but fairly active. He was a good 20-odd stone but he wouldn’t admit it.
“He was a loner and wasn’t up for a party. But he was very likeable. I don’t know anyone who didn’t like Steven.”
He said he saw his friend sitting on a parapet wall smoking a cigarette the day before the accident.
“I did tell him to get off because it was dangerous but, as normal, he would ignore you.
“He was a work colleague and a friend and his loss is a difficult one to bear.”
The hearing continues.
Eastwell Manor, Boughton Aluph, where the accident took place on a flat roof in 2014