An unsafe window installation at a property in the West End of London was caught on camera by a member of the public.
Workers of Ideal Glazing (Euro) Ltd were pictured leaning out of windows eight metres above the ground, with no measures in place to prevent falls.
There was also footage of the workers dropping part of a window which narrowly missed a nearby pedestrian on the floor below.
Ideal Glazing was hired to carry out window installation work at Aldford House, Park Street, in January, Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard.
After seeing the pictures and videos taken by the member of the public, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out an investigation and immediately served a Prohibition Notice to stop the work after witnessing the risk presented to workers and the public.
The company failed to provide equipment such as scaffolding, which would have prevented the workers and window falling.
None of the workers received any formal training and no one was appointed to supervise the work, plus the risks associated with working at height had not been sufficiently assessed.
The company also failed to invest in equipment for working at height, while the health and management system in place relied entirely on the managing director Mr Rashinda Joshi, despite his lack of relevant training and experience, putting those on the job and nearby at risk.
Ideal Glazing was fined £36,000 and ordered to pay £1,386 in costs after it pleaded guilty to breaches of Regulation 6(3) and 10(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
HSE inspector Andrew Verrall-Withers described the company’s standards as “appalling”.
He said people should be able to walk on the pavement without being exposed to the risk of a heavy window falling onto them, adding what made it particularly unacceptable was the fact that previous warnings about the work had been blatantly disregarded.
HSE has previously given the company advice in connection with work at height, while an audit by Ideal Glazing’s bank had previously identified a range of relevant health and safety failings that needed to be addressed. The company failed to heed both written warnings.
Source: Health and Safety Executive
Date Published: February 24, 2016
Author: Jonathan Brown