Magistrates have ordered a roof tile cleaning firm to pay a £10,000 fine after an employee was seen on a pitched roof without any measures to guard against a fall.
Stafford Magistrates’ Court was told a member of the public reported seeing a man stood on the roof of a home in Cheddleton in Staffordshire on 25 October 2013 and took photos of him.
Once the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) saw the revealing images they launched an investigation and prosecuted his employer, Roof Right UK Ltd, of Festival Park, Stoke-on-Trent.
A HSE inspector based in the city discovered that the firm’s employees worked on roofs using jet washers without protection from falls from height on a regular basis.
The firm denied breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 but was found guilty, fined and ordered to pay £1,277 towards the cost of the prosecution.
Praise for member of the public
Andrew Bowker, a HSE inspector, expressed his thanks to the person who reported the incident and said they had without doubt prevented a workplace accident, and more than likely a serious injury.
He said he was stunned to hear in this day and age that a firm thought it was OK to have workers on pitched roofs without anything to prevent falls like scaffolding.
Firm risked workplace accident
The firm put its employees at risk of death or serious injury by asking them to go on pitched roofs without such protection and failed to meet its obligations to ensure employees working at height were safe, Mr Bowker said.
The solicitors working for Accident Advice Helpline are waiting to hear from anyone who has suffered an accident at work and wants to find out whether they may be entitled to make a compensation claim.