Roofer Spills Scalding Bitumen On Grandmother And Grandson

A grandmother and a 21-month old infant were scalded by bitumen after a roofer’s ladder slipped, Redhill Magistrates Court heard in a hearing on November 25th.

The unnamed woman and her grandson required extensive hospital treatment after suffering severe burns in the incident, which occurred on June 9th this year. A later Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation revealed that the accident and subsequent injuries could have been prevented had 50-year-old High Wycombe self-employed roofer John Terrell taken more care.

Mr Terrell had been felting a flat roof and was transporting melted bitumen from ground level to the roof using a ladder. His colleague and he had already gone up and down the ladder several times, but as the grandmother approached the ladder with her grandson in her arms to ask them if they wanted a cup of tea, the insecure ladder slipped, spilling melted bitumen directly on both people.

The HSE discovered that not only had the ladder not been secured, but it also had badly-worn and missing rubber feet and was in a poor condition.

Mr Terrell, of Everest Close, was ordered to pay £1,335 with £1,100 in costs after admitting to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

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