A passing safety inspector spotted two employees at a textile recycling firm working dangerously close to the edge of a sloping roof with no measures in place to stop them falling, a court heard.
Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard the inspector called the men down and served a notice prohibiting further work at height at the industrial unit on Horton Close, West Drayton, in the London Borough of Hillingdon.
The incident in August 2012 was investigated by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which subsequently prosecuted the men’s boss Rajesh Voralia, trading as RTS Textile Recyclers.
Mr Voralia, of Crownpits Lane, Godalming in Surrey, was fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £3,500 costs after admitting breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
‘Ladder was unsecured’
Magistrates heard the men got up onto the roof via an unsecured ladder that had damaged rungs and worn feet. There had been a gap of only 20cm between the top of the ladder and the roof and there were also a number of fragile roof-lights, the HSE investigation found.
The court heard that Mr Voralia – a sole trader who employed 60 people to sort and process unwanted clothing and rags at two premises – had told the HSE he had been unaware the men were on the roof and must have been asked to work there by an assistant warehouse manager.
Just before the incident there had been a leak in the roof, resulting in rags being spoiled, the court heard.
Following the case HSE inspector Jane Wolfenden said although nobody had been hurt, there was a high risk of death or serious injuries from falls during roof work.
She added: “Mr Voralia could have easily prevented such work by removing access equipment and issuing a blanket instruction to his staff not to go on the roof.
“Falls from or through roofs and fragile roof-lights can be easily prevented by careful planning, and use of experienced workers and the right equipment.”
Accident Advice Helpline can help people who have been injured in an accident at work and think they may be able to claim for compensation. To discuss your claim with a member of their expert team dial 0800 689 0500 now.
Powered by WPeMatico