A 64-year-old Shropshire man has been sentenced to 12 months in prison after his company illegally supplied roofing panels containing asbestos.
The offences of company director Robert Marsh’s came to light after a 56-year-old construction worker, fell through the fragile material and later died.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Mr Marsh, sole Director of RM Developments (2005) Ltd of Newport, Shropshire, had supplied pre-used roofing sheets containing white asbestos to a farming partnership building a barn in Frankley, Worcestershire.
During a three-day hearing, Worcester Crown Court heard that after Mr Marsh supplied the roofing sheets, the partnership hired steel erector Tony Podmore to use the materials to build the barn.
But during the final phase of its construction on 8 June 2011, Mr Podmore, fell through the fragile asbestos cement roof sheets, landing on the concrete floor more than six metres below. He later died of his injuries in hospital.
The farm partnership had agreed to pay £4,000 for what they thought would be substantial roofing material. However Mr Marsh supplied poor-quality, second-hand roof panels that had cost him nothing. Mr Marsh paid only £250 for transport and stood to make a profit of £3,750 on the roof alone.
The court was told that after the fall, Mr Marsh tried to persuade witnesses to hide the sheets that he had supplied telling one, ‘We’ll all take the fall for this’. He also told Mr Podmore’s daughter that her father had fallen from the roof edge rather than through the fragile roof sheets and later tried to persuade Mr Podmore’s relatives not to report the incident to the HSE.
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