No action against St Albans council after men fall through roof

PUBLISHED: 10:22 09 January 2017 | UPDATED: 10:52 09 January 2017

There was a health and safety investigation after the incident in St Albans

There was a health and safety investigation after the incident in St Albans

Archant

An investigation into possible health and safety breaches after two people fell through a garage roof has resulted in no further action being taken against the district council.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched a probe after an accident involving two council officers, working as surveyors, over two years ago.

But, the organisation has decided against taking St Albans district council to court as the authority made sweeping changes to its policies in the wake of the incident.

Michael Lovelady, head of legal services, told the Herts Advertiser: “Two of our officers fell through the roof of a council-owned garage in Cottonmill Lane while carrying out an inspection in September 2014.

“Unfortunately, the roof was not strong enough to bear their weight.”

In February last year, the HSE warned the council that its investigation had identified possible breaches of health and safety legislation.

The local body was invited to make submissions before the executive made its final decision.

Mr Lovelady said: “The health and safety of our employees is of paramount concern to us and we carried out an internal investigation into the accident.

“As a result of this, we reviewed and updated our overall health and safety policies. This involved implementing the 23 recommendations of a report that was put before a public meeting of the council’s audit committee in March last year.”

He added that while the report concluded that the council had good health and safety practice in many areas, it was lacking in others, with improvements needed for documentation and record keeping.

In view of such actions following the garage incident, the HSE recently decided not to prosecute the council.

Mr Lovelady went on: “This was a regrettable accident that has been thoroughly investigated by the council and the HSE and has led to a tightening up of our health and safety procedures.

“Fortunately, both of our employees were able to return to work shortly afterwards.”

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