Magistrates have fined a builder £3,000 for safety failings, after a member of the public took a picture of him and his employees working on the roof of a house without measures to prevent them from falling.
Ronald Steven King, known as Steve, was working with two other men on the roof of a four-bedroomed, detached house in Brookside, Kingsley, Cheshire on 29 April 2013, Chester Magistrates’ Court heard.
The member of the public made a complaint to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which sent an inspector to the property.
He saw that Mr King was putting himself and his workers at risk of an injury at work
and they were required to leap over a gap of about a metre from the scaffolding tower to get onto the roof, the court was told.
The HSE prosecuted Mr King, 61, of Airlie Road, Hoylake, Wirral, following the inspection. The court heard he had been contracted to put a new roof on the property, which meant fitting insulation and new slates.
The work had been going on for two weeks before the HSE inspector visited the site.
Magistrates were told the base of the scaffolding tower was in the garden of a neighbouring property and there was a significant gap between the top of the tower and the roof. There were no measures around the roof to prevent falls, such as scaffolding boards, and if anyone had suffered a fall there was a four-and-a-half metre drop to the ground below.
Mr King admitted breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005, was fined and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £2,457.
After the case concluded HSE inspector Kevin Jones said Mr King did not install the basic safety measures that are expected when working at height, even though he was experienced in the roofing trade and he was involved in a major project.
Builder ‘risked lives’
Mr Jones said Mr King risked his life and those of his workers by not putting protection around the roof and having to jump across from the scaffold.
He said Mr King had ignored the well-known dangers of working at height in the construction industry and there may have been a serious injury or worse if the member of the public had not alerted the HSE to what was going on at the property.
Accident Advice Helpline is available to advise over whether personal injury compensation claims can be made in such instances.