The BBC on line news has reported this week that a roofing firm boss has been jailed for 12 months for manslaughter due to gross negligence after a 20-year-old employee fell 20ft (6m) through a skylight.
The roofing boss and his company were convicted over the death of their employee in 2005. He was carrying out repairs when he fell and the Crown Court Judge described it as a "wholly avoidable and preventable accident".
The employer was also disqualified from being a company director for three years in recognition of his earlier guilty plea to offences under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £20,000 towards the costs of the trial.
During the 13-day hearing, the court heard the employee did not have a harness and there was no safety net. He died in hospital a day after falling through the skylight onto a concrete factory floor in November 2005.
The judge said the deceased was "wholly untrained to work at height," not supervised at the "critical time", and "provided with inadequate and insufficient materials to do the work safely". He continued saying that it was "by good fortune and not good management by the company that such an accident had not happened before". He also added the company's health and safety practices "were more to impress potential contractors than for the safety of employees".
In mitigation, defence counsel said that the Company had become so "paranoid" after the accident that his company was now "one of the safest industrial roofing companies operating in the area".
Speaking after the sentencing, Dave Rothery, the region's HSE principle inspector, said he hoped the case would make other businesses "realise that breaches of Health and Safety legislation not only put the lives of workers at risk, but have serious consequences in law."