£100,000 Punishment For Howarth Timber Over Delicate Rooftop Demise


Howarth Timber, the UK’s biggest privately owned  timber organization, has been requested to pay more than £100,000 in fines and expenses after a worker died when he fell through a delicate rooftop at one of the organization’s sites.

The roofer Howarth employed to fix a leak has likewise been fined and gave a suspended jail sentence for his part in the occurrence.

Andrew Ward was working for roofer Paul Hardy, trading as Hardy Construction, at Howarth’s site in Bruce Grove, Tottenham, London on 22 May 2012. He died after falling more than eight meters through a fragile cement roof.

Howarth had hired Hardy to fix the roof but failed to check he was competent and did not conduct his own risk assessment for the job.

Hardy failed to plan the work properly and had no risk assessment or method statement. There was no safe access to the roof. The scaffold tower he provided had been erected incorrectly and he failed to provide a safe working platform.

Paul Hardy, of Grosvenor Road Belvedere, Kent, admitted breaching Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety Work Act. On 18th May at Southwark Crown Court, he was sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for 12 months, fined £3000 and told to pay costs of £11,756.

Howarth Timber Building supplies was fined £93,750 and ordered to pay full costs of £12,580 after it admitted breaching Section 3(1) of the Act.

“The work here should  ideally have been undertaken without the need to directly access the roof, for example by using mobile elevated working platform or, if that was not possible , with safety measures to minimise the risk of falling such as netting, crawling boards and fall arrest harnesses,” said HSE Inspector Chris Tilley.

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