Business fined £160,000 over man’s roof fall death

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The Northallerton Heating Centre has been ordered to pay £160,000 over seven years plus £36,315 in costs in relation to the death of 24-year-old employee, Luke Crocher.

Acting as a representative of the business, one of the partners, 59-year-old Mark Anthony Flintoft of Northallerton, appeared at Leeds Crown Court and pleaded guilty to a charge of corporate manslaughter.

On 5 April 2018, Crocher was working for the business at a property in Bishop Monkton, when he fell approximately 30 feet from the roof of the house on to the rear patio, sustaining serious head injuries.

He was rushed to Leeds General Infirmary, but died later that day due to the injuries he sustained.

The court heard that The Northallerton Heating Centre had failed to ensure suitable and sufficient measures had been taken to prevent him from falling and had failed to ensure the work was properly planned, supervised and carried out safely.

The business had also failed to ensure Crocher received the appropriate instruction to keep him safe, that he was correctly supervised and working in line with the relevant working at height regulations.

Senior investigating officer, detective chief inspector Jim Glass, said: “This is such a tragic case which was completely preventable.

“Luke was carrying out a day’s work, from which he should have been able to return safely to his family who have been left utterly heartbroken by his death.

“The Northallerton Heating Centre failed to ensure his safety at work and did not take all the relevant steps to make sure he was never able to fall from such a height.

“I hope this case is a timely reminder to all employers that the health and safety of their staff is their responsibility and is paramount.

“North Yorkshire Police take all reports of this nature incredibly seriously and any breach of health and safety regulations which risk serious injury or death will be investigated thoroughly.

“I’d like to thank colleagues at the Health and Safety Executive and Crown Prosecution Service for their support during this very detailed investigation.

“While I realise the result today does not ease any of the pain Luke’s family have experienced since his death, I hope it provides them with a sense of closure and helps them move on to more positive times.”