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Director fined after worker's fatal fall through roof

The director of a building firm has been prosecuted after a self-employed contractor fell to his death through a fragile roof at an industrial building in Penryn.

Paul Gibbons was carrying out re-roofing work when he fell eight metres through a fragile part of the asbestos cement roof onto the floor below. He was taken to hospital but died of his injuries later that day.

An HSE investigation into the incident found that the company had failed to put adequate safety measures in place at the site despite the risks involved with working at height.

Truro Crown Court heard that the work had not been adequately planned and no safety nets or crash deck platforms had been provided to mitigate the effects of a fall.

HSE Inspector, Jon Harris, speaking after the hearing, said: "Mr Gibbons’ death could have been prevented if the work had been planned properly and industry standards, such as providing netting, had been applied. The risks of working at height are well-known and falls through fragile materials are the cause of one in five deaths in the construction industry."

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