Firm in court af­ter roofer’s fa­tal fall

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Blaze - By Paul Hooper

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

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