Contractor guilty of safety breach
A CONTRACTOR was today found guilty of breaching health and safety regulations.Timothy Philpott, who was the main contractor at the Hill House Farm site at Needham Market which is now a residential development called Hill Meadows, had claimed that as soon as his back was turned labourers had ignored his instructions not climb on roofs.
A CONTRACTOR was today found guilty of breaching health and safety regulations.
Timothy Philpott, who was the main contractor at the Hill House Farm site at Needham Market which is now a residential development called Hill Meadows, had claimed that as soon as his back was turned labourers had ignored his instructions not climb on roofs.
But a jury at Ipswich Crown Court today found him guilty of one charge of breaching health and safety regulations. Sentence was postponed until next week.
Philpott had denied the charge and told the court he felt he had carried out his duties completely in respect of filling in relevant paperwork, telling the workforce how to do the job and providing them with the necessary equipment.
He blamed the workers' attitude for an accident in which a labourer fell through the roof of a former cow shed while removing asbestos cement sheets from the roof.
Philpott said the site foreman had said that the men wanted to get on the roof rather than use a scissor lift to remove the sheets because they found it more exciting.
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Philpott said that during his visits to Hill House Farm he never saw anyone on a roof. "The men couldn't wait for me to leave and it was straight on the roof against my instructions," he said.
Philpott, 47, of Bunwell, Norfolk, has pleaded not guilty to contravening a health and safety regulation which required him to take suitable steps to prevent such falls.
The court had heard that Phillip Hills broke his leg badly and needed a plate and pins inserted in it after falling more than 12 feet on to a concrete floor.
Philpott, who represented himself, told the jury that 27 months after the accident in June 1999, he received a letter saying he would not be prosecuted.
He said he was devastated four days later when he received another letter saying he would be prosecuted after all.
Philpott said that a sub-contractor employed by him to work at the site had admitted a breach of health and safety regulations in relation to Mr Hills' accident.