Tributes to tragic roofer

TRIBUTES have been paid to a young builder who died after suffering a heart attack while working on the roof of a new house.Essex Police said yesterday initial results of a post-mortem revealed that Carl Ashcroft died of natural causes at a building site in Stanway on Monday afternoon.

TRIBUTES have been paid to a young builder who died after suffering a heart attack while working on the roof of a new house.

Essex Police said yesterday initial results of a post-mortem revealed that Carl Ashcroft died of natural causes at a building site in Stanway on Monday afternoon.

A spokeswoman for the force said he suffered a heart attack on the roof before falling on to scaffolding at gutter level.

Further tests were being carried out, but the indications were that the 20-year-old, of Gloucester Avenue, Colchester, “probably had some form of congenital heart disease”, she said.


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Mr Ashcroft was working with about 50 colleagues for Colchester-based Essex Roofing Ltd at the Persimmon Homes site in Winstree Road at the time of his death on Monday afternoon.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors have begun their investigation and in a statement yesterday they said their “initial opinion is that this is a well managed site” and they do not envisage making any prohibition or improvement orders.

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The building site was closed as a mark of respect for Mr Ashcroft on Tuesday.

His grieving colleagues yesterday attended a company briefing at Colchester to discuss procedures and to raise a collection for Mr Ashcroft's family.

Roger Sharman, managing director of Essex Roofing, said: “We were all deeply saddened by the news and our thoughts are with the family at this time.

“Carl joined us about three years ago as an apprentice. He achieved his Level 2 NVQ qualification in roofing, tiling and slating.

“He was well-liked and had lots of friends and he will be missed by us all.

“The HSE have carried out a full investigation on the site and although it's not yet been confirmed it's thought that Carl had a heart condition that contributed to his fall.”

Andrew Jay, managing director of Persimmon Homes said the incident was a “terrible tragedy”.

In a statement, the company added: “Further to the recent fatality at one of our sites we have been informed verbally of the coroners report.

“We understand that the report indicates the cause of death as a heart attack which subsequently led to the deceased losing balance whilst undertaking normal roof-working practices.

“He then fell onto the working platform approximately two feet below.

It added: “Our deepest sympathies are with the young man's family at this tragic time.

“He was a valued member of our sub-contractor team and will be sadly missed on site.”

An HSE spokesman said: “The HSE does not propose serving any notices or taking further enforcement action at this stage.

“The investigation is not yet complete but our initial opinion is that this is a well managed site.”

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