“Insufficient communication” of risks and "inadequate health and safety measures" contributed to a roofer's death, an inquest jury has found.

Ernie Taylor died on September 20, 2020, after falling five storeys from the roof of Essex House in St Aubyns Gardens in Hove, where he was working.

The jury at the inquest into his death found that Mr Taylor, 30, had died from multiple traumatic injuries sustained during the fall from a lightwell on the building.

Delivering the verdict, the foreman of the jury said: “We are satisfied that the following made a material contribution to Mr Taylor’s death:

“Insufficient communication regarding the hazards and the risks of injury due to the hazards.

“Insufficient communication advising not to access the roof at any point.

“The risk assessment was lacking clear articulation that the roof was not to be accessed at any point.

The Argus: Essex House, where Mr Taylor fell from the roofEssex House, where Mr Taylor fell from the roof (Image: Google Street View)

“The roof was accessed at points during the works with inadequate health and safety measures including but not limited to edge protection around the light and ventilation well.”

Mr Taylor, who was employed as an asphalter, died at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton on his 30th birthday, three days after the fall.

An emergency call was made at around 12.30pm on September 17, 2020, after he plunged through the lightwell.

The inquest heard that Mr Taylor, of Lodsworth Close near Swanborough Drive in Whitehawk, Brighton, had been asked to take photos of the work that was being completed.

Sussex Police investigator Amber Evans gave evidence that the angle of the photos taken suggested Mr Taylor was “very close” to the hole that he fell through, with his back to the lightwell.

The Argus: Ernie TaylorErnie Taylor (Image: The Taylor Family)

The jury found that “based on the evidence, the roof was accessed at points during the ongoing work”.

Rebekah Dunn, who investigated the case with the Health and Safety Executive, found there was “inadequate edge protection” on the lightwell if work was being completed from the roof.

Assistant coroner for Brighton and Hove Dr Karen Henderson thanked the jury and expressed her condolences to Mr Taylor’s family, who were present throughout the inquest, held at Leonardo Hotel near Brighton Station.