Prohibition Notices were put in place on a roof renovation project when it was spotted that workers were being put at risk.
Following the notices, two roofing contractors were charged and fined.
Two companies at fault
Principal contractor MKM Fabrications Ltd was carrying out a roof replacement at Valley Mills in Oldham. It had subcontracted work to replace a light roof structure with a modern composite roof to Clad-It Limited.
This meant that employees from both companies were alongside one another.
But concerns were raised to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) that work was being carried out with nothing to stop the workers from falling off or through the roof.
The HSE investigated the claims and found hazardous working conditions. They also found that these dangerous working practices continued during snowy weather.
A number of fragile skylights hadn’t been covered to prevent people stepping on them. There were also no measures in place to stop anyone falling through large gaps created after the skylight had been removed.
Failed to protect workers
MKM Fabrications was judged to have failed to effectively plan the safe completion of the project or put in place measures to prevent anyone falling, Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard.
It pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £66,000 with £3,938.38 costs.
The court also said that Clad-It should have protected its own workers and that by allowing them on site without suitable and sufficient planning being in place, the company exposed its workers.
Clad-It Limited pleaded guilty at Manchester Crown Court to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £66,000 with £3,938.38 costs.
HSE Inspector Matt Greenly said: “MKM and Clad-It failed in their duties to protect the roof workers and anyone working below them in the mill from a foreseeable risk of serious harm. The risks to workers here were obvious, and neither company thought it necessary to manage the work at height risks properly.”
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: May 3, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown