Footage broadcast on TV showed workers using a pressure washer to clear moss from a rooftop for an uninsured firm and without any measures in place to stop them slipping and falling off, a court heard.
Renov8 (North West) Ltd and company director Darren Potts have been fined after admitting breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard that having received complaints about poor workmanship and trading standards issues, the BBC’s Watchdog show hired the firm, of Links Avenue in Failsworth, Oldham to clean the roofs of two bungalows in Droylsden and Salford in May 2013.
Hidden cameras filmed the work being carried out on the roofs with no scaffolding or other measures in place to protect the employees while working at height. At one property Darren Potts, 39, was filmed watching the work from the ground.
Magistrates also heard that despite it being a legal requirement, a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation had found Renov8 had no employers’ liability insurance.
The lack of insurance meant its employees would not have been able to claim compensation had they been injured in an accident at work.
Revnov8 was fined £1,000 with £1,255 costs while Darren Potts, of Links Avenue, Failsworth, was ordered to do 200 hours of community service and pay £1,255 in costs.
Director ‘risked lives’
Following the case, HSE inspector Matt Greenly said the firm should not have allowed the work to be carried out on the bungalow roofs without having suitable safety measures in place.
He added: “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.”
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: January 25, 2014
Author: David Brown