Suspended Sentence Following Fragile Roof Fall

A MAN HAS BEEN GIVEN a suspended prison sentence after an employee sustained life-threatening injuries when he fell 30-feet through a fragile roof.

Fazal Subkhan from Bradford was given a nine-month sentence (suspended for two years) after pleading guilty to health and safety breaches. It related to an incident on 25 March 2020 when Uzaifa Khan, 34, suffered a number of injuries including a broken hip and pelvis.

Fragile Roof Fall

Leeds Crown Court heard that Fazal Subkhan and Uzaifa Khan were both working on the roof of Unit C, Ashely Lane in Shipley, when Uzaifa fell through the fragile roof landing on pallets approximately 36-feet below. As a result of the fall, Uzaifa also suffered several broken ribs, a partially collapsed lung, a shattered wrist, and a broken elbow.

Uzaifa Khan said the incident left him unable to do ‘95 per cent’ of the things he did before. He said: “It’s been a crazy two and a half years. A lot has happened since regarding my physical and mental wellbeing. It has impacted me greatly. I can’t physically pick up my daughter and she cries that I can’t do so. I don’t feel safe going out anymore as I can’t physically look after myself.

“The accident has completely changed my life. The key memory is falling, and when I was on the floor and in pain, [Fazal] came up to me and said ‘make sure you tell the police you went on the roof on your own accord’.”

No Risk Assessment

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Fazal Subkhan had made previous repairs to the roof at the site but returned to undertake further work. No risk assessment was undertaken for working on the fragile roof. Safe access to the roof, and the risk of falling through or from the roof were not considered and no controls of any sort were put in place.

Fazal Subkhan of Rochester Street, Bradford, West Yorkshire pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (2) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974. As well as the suspended prison sentence, Fazal must also complete 150 hours unpaid work and was ordered to pay £2,500 in costs.

HSE Inspector, Chris Tilley, said: “Falls through fragile roofs and fragile roof lights cause death and serious injury. They account for almost a fifth of all the fatal accidents which result from a fall from height in the construction industry.

“It’s better to avoid working on fragile roofs at all but if you have to, always assess the risk and employ safe control measures like installing perimeter edge protection, the use of staging on the roof surface to spread the loads or install safety nets underneath the roof”.


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