Safety failing costs company £11,000 - Palmers Solicitors

Safety failing costs company £11,000

A Stoke-on-Trent company that uses jet washers to clean roof tiles has been fined thousands of pounds after a worker was spotted on a roof without any falls protection in place.

In October 2013, a member of the public took photos of the man standing on the pitched roof of a house in Cheddleton, Staffordshire and alerted the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which carried out an investigation.

Stafford Magistrates’ Court heard on 6 August that an HSE inspector subsequently found that Roof Right UK Ltd routinely arranged for such work to take place without any suitable falls protection being in place.

A prohibition notice was issued, preventing the company from carrying out further work unless suitable controls such as scaffolding were provided.

Roof Right UK Ltd of Festival Park, Stoke-on-Trent, was found guilty in the company’s absence to breaching Regulation 3(1)(b) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, and Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £1,277 costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Andrew Bowker said: “It is staggering to me that a company operating in 2013 thought that it was acceptable to allow workers onto pitched property roofs to carry out jet washing work without providing scaffolding or other suitable falls protection measures”.

“Roof Right UK Ltd put workers’ lives in danger by allowing them onto a slippery roof without suitable safety measures being in place. They failed to recognise their responsibility to ensure that work at height carried out under their control was done safely.”

Falls from height are responsible for around a third of workplace deaths every year, with 25 people losing their lives in 2012-13.

All employers are legally required to protect the health, safety and welfare of employees, suppliers, customers, members of the public and others by assessing risks of injury or damage to health that could occur in the workplace and taking steps to manage and control these. As well as keeping employees and others safe, investing in health and safety will protect businesses against the time and cost involved in putting right breaches of health and safety, the expense of a potential prosecution and the associated damage to business reputation.

For more information on our health and safety compliance services, please contact Lara Murray or for health and safety representation, please contact Jeremy Sirrell.