A former serviceman died after he fell 4m (13ft) from the roof of a store at a retail park while cleaning out the guttering, an inquest heard.
Stuart Carter, 47, of Cambridgeshire, was working for a roofing and construction firm when he fell from the top of The Range, Ipswich, on 3 August.
The father-of-one, who had previously been in the Royal Logistic Corps, died in hospital 18 days later.
Inquest jurors were told Mr Carter “always took safety seriously”.
The inquest in Ipswich heard Mr Carter had been working for St Neots-based GC Services Ltd, alongside his colleague Andrew Griffiths, clearing the guttering of the garden centre at the back of the store on Suffolk Retail Park.
Mr Griffiths said Mr Carter was on the roof and he had gone to get some gloves out of the van.
When he came back, Mr Carter had walked the length of the gutter and had “cornered himself in the corner of the roof”.
Mr Griffiths said he tried to make his way across to him but he could not.
He said as he turned to go back down the ladder, he heard a “thud” and Mr Carter had fallen “headfirst”.
Emergency services were called, including an air ambulance, just after 09:00 BST.
Mr Carter, from Little Paxton, near St Neots, was taken by land ambulance to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, where he died on 21 August 2018.
In statements read out by Suffolk coroner Nigel Parsley, colleagues said Mr Carter was “very safety-conscious” and “always took safety seriously”.
His cause of death was given as a brain injury following a fall from height.
The inquest continues.