Passing HSE inspector spots unsafe roof work

Grant Prior 6 years ago
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A West Midlands roofing contractor has been fined after a passing safety inspector spotted an employee working unsafely at height without any fall protection.

Water Orton-based GS Roofing Specialists LLP was prosecuted following the chance encounter at the Kelvin Way Trading Estate in West Bromwich on 26 September 2013.

Sandwell Magistrates’ Court heard that an HSE inspector was on the industrial estate when he spotted two workers on a fragile roof of a nearby business unit.

He noted they working on the roof without any adequate fall prevention or fall mitigation measures in place.

A subsequent HSE investigation found that GS Roofing had prepared a risk assessment and method statement for this work that stated that guard rails and netting would be used.

They weren’t, and suitable boarding, platforms, or coverings were also overlooked.

GS Roofing of Attleboro Lane, Water Orton, was fined £7,500 and ordered to pay £1,090 costs after pleading guilty to a safety breach.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Gareth Langston said: “The dangers that the workers faced were so great and immediately obvious when I witnessed the safety breaches being committed.

“GS Roofing Specialists LLP blatantly ignored the risk assessment’s advice for fall protection to be in place, leaving workers exposed to an unnecessary risk of a serious or even fatal injury.

“Working at height is a high-risk activity. There is a need to adequately plan for such work and ensure those plans are fully implemented and monitored effectively to ensure the safety of those involved.”

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