BBC cameras land roofer in court

Grant Prior 5 years ago
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An Oldham roofing firm and its director have appeared in court after being filmed breaking the law by the BBC’s Watchdog programme.

Renov8 (North West) Ltd and Darren Potts were prosecuted after footage showed workers on top of house roofs using a pressure washer without any measures in place to stop them slipping and falling.

Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard that Watchdog had hired Renov8 to carry out roof cleaning at two bungalows after receiving several complaints about poor workmanship and trading standards issues.

The work was filmed at Heather Close in Droylsden on 1 May 2013 and Radford Street in Salford on 21 May 2013 using hidden cameras, and then broadcast the following month.

The footage showed an employee walking around a sloping roof at the first property in Droylsden using a pressure washer to remove moss.

Company director Potts was filmed watching the work from the ground. Both men were also shown walking on the roof of the second property in Salford, again with no scaffolding or other measures in place to prevent them being injured in a fall.

The HSE investigation also found Renov8 did not have any employers’ liability insurance.

Renov8 (North West) Ltd and Darren Potts, 39, each pleaded guilty to two safety breaches.

Renov8, of Failsworth, was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £1,255 in prosecution costs while Potts, of the same address, was ordered to undertake 200 hours of community service and also has to pay £1,255 in costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Matt Greenly said: “Renov8 should never have allowed work to be carried out on the roofs of the two bungalows without having suitable safety measures in place.

“Company director Darren Potts risked not only his own life but the life of an employee by clambering around slippery roofs. Renov8 could easily have hired scaffolding for the work but failed to do this, despite using scaffolding on similar properties in the past.

“The company also ignored the law relating to employers’ liability insurance, meaning the employee wouldn’t have been able to claim a penny in compensation if he had been injured.”

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