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Roofers refuse snow-clearing contracts

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15:58 CET+01:00
Cold, tiring and dangerous - clearing city rooftops of snow and ice rates high on the 'rather you than me' scale of Swedish winter jobs, so it is perhaps not surprising that Stockholm is experiencing a shortage of qualified roofers.

But that is the problem facing the city's property owners, who, following a court ruling last year, are finding it impossible to get roofing companies to sign caretaking agreements.

In January 2002 a 14 year old boy was hit on the head by a chunk of ice. He died of his injuries, leading to a fierce legal battle over who was ultimately responsible.

Last May, Sweden's Supreme Court concluded that it was the responsibility of the roofing company which was contracted to clear the roof. Critically, the court found that an agreement meant not only that the roofing firm should clear the roof, but that it should also decide when the roof needed clearing.

"Never in our wildest fantasies could we have imagined that the roofer would be found liable in the Supreme Court," said Thomas Dahlberg, ombudsman for the National Roofers Association, to

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