Firm not to blame af­ter worker’s fall from roof

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Spotlight On Health -

A build­ing firm has been cleared of blame over the death of a work­man who fell 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 plunged eight me­tres onto a pa­tio in March 2014 while work­ing on a flat roof.

Now a jury at Canterbury Crown Court has ac­quit­ted Jones Build­ing Con­trac­tors of Hythe – the firm which hired the roofer to carry out re­pair work – of two charges of fail­ing to dis­charge its duty and breach­ing Health and Safety Reg­u­la­tions.

James Ho­di­vala, pros­e­cut­ing, had claimed that the com­pany had not taken enough care to en­sure that safety mea­sures were in place but af­ter a week­long trial the jury re­turned not guilty ver­dicts against the firm, which is based in Port­land Road, Hythe.

Mr Twyman, 51, had been work­ing on a flat roof near a castel­lated wall with nei­ther a har­ness nor scaf­fold­ing to pre­vent him fall­ing in March 2014.

His friend and work col­league Lee Gre­gory told the jury that he had known Mr Twyman since they were teenagers and they had worked to­gether on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions.

He said: “He was a big fella, over­weight but fairly ac­tive. He was a good 20-odd stone but he wouldn’t ad­mit it.

“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.

“I did tell him to get off be­cause it was dan­ger­ous but as nor­mal he would ig­nore you,” he added.

“He was a work col­league and a friend and his loss is a dif­fi­cult one to bear.”

One of the com­pany’s di­rec­tors and a friend of Mr Twyman, John Jones who was present through­out the trial, wept as the ver­dicts were an­nounced.

At an ear­lier in­quest, a ver­dict of ac­ci­den­tal death was recorded.

Mr Twyman suf­fered mul­ti­ple in­juries as a re­sult of the fall.

The air am­bu­lance, an am­bu­lance, a para­medic car and a HART ( Haz­ardous Area Re­sponse Team) ve­hi­cle at­tended the ac­ci­dent but the roofer died at the scene.

A build­ing firm has been cleared of blame over the death of a work­man who fell from a roof at East­well Manor

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