TWO roofers have been handed a suspended prison sentence after seriously injuring an office worker in Ripley.
Jason Lunt and Gregory Wright, both 41, from Walsall, were re-felting the flat roof of Jubilee House on Nottingham Road on September 22, last year, when a 37kg roll of felt was allowed to crash through a skylight.
It fell 14ft on to office worker Kathleen Phillips, of Allestree, who was taken to hospital with injuries to her head and shoulder.
A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found contractor Lunt allowed the work to start without conducting a proper risk assessment or protecting the roof skylights with boarding.
It meant when Wright, a self-employed roofer contracted by Mr Lunt, moved one of six rolls of roof felt stood upright on the roof, another one toppled over and fell through an unguarded skylight, magistrates in Derby heard.
Prosecuting for the HSE, Lee Greaterex said: “Office workers heard a rumble that sounded like a train coming.
“It came through the office like a missile. She feels extremely fortunate to be alive.”
Mrs Phillips was forced to take two weeks off work after the incident.
Defending Lunt and Wright, solicitor David Cusack said the pair had ‘not sought to avoid responsibility’ and were aware there was a “price to pay” for their actions. Wright said sorry to Mrs Phillips immediately after the incident and has since sent her a letter of apology.
Lunt and Wright, who pleased guilty to two charges under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and were each given an 18-week prison sentence, suspended for one year.
They were also ordered to carry out 280 hours of work in the community. They were also ordered to pay £2114 each towards prosecution costs.
District Judge Joanne Alderson in her summing up said: “You made no effort to cover up the skylights.
“This was not an obscure risk, nor one requiring expert knowledge. This risk was so obvious, the man in the street could have spotted it.”