10th Aug, 2021 Read time 2 minutes

Roofer and Scaffolder Convicted Following Fatal Fall from Height

A roofer and a scaffolder have been convicted following a deadly fall from a two-story terraced house on Rosevine Road in Wimbledon.


On November 26, 2018, Philip Drinkwater and Anthony Bradley were working on the roof, accessible via a ladder and scaffolding installed by Dean Glen, according to Southwark Crown Court. Later that day, Mr Drinkwater asked Mr Bradley, a coworker, to assist him in lifting some slates onto the roof with an electric hoist. He dropped roughly six metres through a hole adjacent to the hoist while performing this procedure and fell on the ground, where he died virtually instantly.

Mr Glen had erected the scaffold with a 1.17m gap in the edge protection at the ladder access point without adding a scaffold gate, according to an examination by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Mr Glen had erected the scaffold without being fully qualified to do so, and it did not meet industry or legal standards. Mr Drinkwater oversaw the roof work, which he allowed to continue despite the gap and dangerous ladder access. He lacked the necessary training to supervise the site’s health and safety, and he failed to appoint a certified scaffolder to install the scaffold.

Philip Drinkwater of Meldone Sheephouse Way, New Malden, was found guilty to violate section 3(2) of the Health & Safety at Work etc., Act 1974. He received a £5,000 punishment and was forced to pay £6,318 in costs.

Dean Glen of Woodroyd Avenue, Horley, was found guilty of breaking section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. He received a £5,000 punishment and was forced to pay £6,318 in costs.

“The tragedy of this accident was that it was completely avoidable,” HSE inspector Kevin Smith said after the hearing.

“Preventative procedures were low-cost and took little time or effort to implement. This man’s death could have been easily avoided if the guard rail opening had been smaller and a self-closing scaffold gate had been installed. A scaffold gate costs roughly £40 and can be installed in a matter of minutes.

“Those working on scaffolding and roofs on smaller sites should be aware of the potentially disastrous results of neglecting to take basic precautionary measures.”

Brands who we work with

Sign up to our newsletter
Keep up to date with all HSE news and thought leadership interviews