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The death of a labourer who fell from the roof of a Rainham warehouse could have been ‘prevented’

PUBLISHED: 16:56 07 July 2016 | UPDATED: 18:13 07 July 2016

The Denver Industrial Estate in Rainham where a man died after falling off a roof

The Denver Industrial Estate in Rainham where a man died after falling off a roof

Archant

A warehouse worker broke down as he recalled the harrowing final moments of a man who died in his arms.

Mujo Peca, 32, originally from Albania, died in November 2013 after falling from a roof in Ferry Lane, Rainham.

A jury at Walthamstow Coroner’s Court heard how Mr Peca was cleaning and fixing a leak in the roof for Sams Yard storage business in Denver Industrial Estate and had ventured to the top part without a harness or safety equipment.

The company’s health and safety officer Mark Stevens was one of the first to find Mr Peca after his fall.

He told the court room how “he tried everything he could” to save the 32-year-old labourer.

Mr Stevens said: “I never thought they would go up without a harness, I never thought it would come to this.

“I tried to put my finger in his mouth and pull his tongue out as he started swallowing it.

“He died in my arms, he was bleeding from his head and ears.”

Childhood friend Fatmir Traci was with Mr Peca on the day he died as he had helped him gutter and clean the warehouse.

He was a meter in front of the Albanian on the roof before he fell and said how he felt the roofer attempt to grab him before falling.

Mr Traci said: “I heard a noise and felt something grabbing my back, I then turned around and saw the hole in the roof.”

During his evidence, Mr Troci said how he had discussed safety equipment with his friend after telling him “how dangerous” the working conditions were.

Mr Traci’s older brother Nazif, who had given the two men a lift to the warehouse, told the jury how he had shared these concerns after returning to pick them up.

He said: “I was very concerned and I got frightened.

“I told them to come down because it was scary and as soon as I said it, I heard a thump.

“But when I turned my head I just saw him falling.”

A secretary who worked in another warehouse nearby described seeing the three men on the roof as she pulled into work on the morning of November 16 2013.

In a statement read out, Aiste Sniukstiene said: “It was so unusual and out of the ordinary to see what they were doing.

“No one was using any safety equipment, it appeared to be very dangerous.”

After two days of evidence, a jury reached the unanimous conclusion that Mr Peca’s death was accidental.

All 10 members of the jury also decided that the death was preventable if the relevant safety regulations had been in place.

Assistant Coroner Elizabeth Bussey-Jones urged the health and safety executive present to examine the evidence carefully and carry out any necessary reviews to see if any action should be taken against any particular individual or body.


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