Men were working 5 metres up without any fall prevention equipment…
A roofing company has been prosecuted after employees of the company were found to have faced unnecessary risks and threats to their safety while carrying out their work duties at a site in Deeside, Flintshire.
The Merseyside-based construction firm had been hired to replace some roofing at an industrial complex at Connah’s Quay in Deeside. However on 1 November 2012 an inspector in the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), who was off duty at the time, noticed two men working on the roof of some industrial units in the area. He immediately became concerned when he realised there were no fall prevention facilities in place. He proceeded to ensure a Prohibition Notice was put in place as soon as possible to ensure the hazardous work from heights was stopped.
Mold Magistrates’ Court was told that the HSE investigation into work practices at the site found numerous risks associated with working at heights. These included an access ladder to the roof that was unsecured and no evidence of any safeguards to prevent workers falling through the roof or from the edge of the industrial units which were four to five metres from the ground.
The roofing company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £100.
HSE Inspector Chris Wilcox commented after the hearing:
“The dangers of working at height are well known in the roofing industry yet poor safety standards and lack of safeguards still exist among some contractors.
“These employees were working on fragile roofs and yet the company had neglected to implement even the most basic safety measures to minimise the risks of falls. It is very fortunate that nobody was injured.
“The prosecution should serve as a reminder to all building contractors to ensure working at height is properly planned and robust safety precautions taken. Employers have a legal duty to manage safety and failing to do so too often ends in tragedy.”
Author: Julian Roberts
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