Sometimes roofers are their own worst enemies

Weekly Industry Recap: week ending 4 Apr 2013:

It can be tough working as a roofer in the UK, but sometimes roofing specialists do little more than shoot themselves in the foot with their behaviour.

Roofers almost by definition work at height much of the time, spending an inordinate amount of their day crawling about on the rooftops of buildings high and low, which is why suffering from medical conditions linked to balance such as vertigo a serious and even dangerous condition. There are some medications that can help combat conditions like vertigo, but these medications only work if you actually take them – and one roofer who weaned himself off of his vertigo medication paid the ultimate price for his decision.

Staincliffe native Craig McNulty lost his life last year when he fell from height as he worked to prune back a tree at the home of the relative of his business partner. The inquest into his death was recently released this week, revealing that the 38 year old’s death has been ruled an accidental one.

Mr McNulty, who was 38 years old at the time of his death, fell from height and sustained injuries to his head that were severe enough to end his life. This wasn’t the first time the man suffered such a fall, as he also fell 12 feet from scaffolding two years ago, injuring himself to the point where he was referred to a neurologist for dizziness and persistent black outs.

The father of one was told that he should not only stop working at height but also that he should avoid getting behind the wheel. Despite this, Mr McNulty made the decision to wean himself off his medications and continue on as if nothing had happened, leaving friends and family completely in the dark as to what he could have possibly been thinking, especially since evidence suggested that his fatal second fall was precipitated by yet another blackout.

It’s a shame and a tragedy, and easily stands as a warning to other roofing specialists out there to not tempt fate. Still, some roofers just don’t seem to know when to quit and continue to take risks – much as one 64 year old roofer, Ronald Morgan, went back to work after initially claiming benefits for being unable to work due to an injury of his own.

The Pembrey native initially began receiving benefits in 2002 after he too began to experience problems with his ability to balance. However, by early March of 2011 he began to feel he had recovered and started taking jobs once more – yet neglected to inform anyone that he had done so.

Unfortunately for Mr Morgan, the Department for Work and Pensions received an anonymous tip that the man had resumed work, and DWP investigated by secretly filming him working on a roof in Llanelli.

The man was caught red-handed and admitted as such when he was approached by investigators, leading to him being fined an being held responsible for repayment of any benefits he received from when he began working once more. Still I suppose it’s better than falling to his death, but Mr Morgan still made a poor choice in not informing DWP that he had recovered enough to return to work!

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