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Unsafe work leads to fine and ban for director

Date:
11 February 2013

The director of a Nottingham building firm has been fined after unsafe work on an asbestos cement roof.

Russell Lloyd’s company, Lloyd Home Improvements Ltd, now in liquidation, had been contracted to replace the roof of a factory in Willow Road, Lenton, Notttingham in order for solar panels to be installed.

Nottingham magistrates were today (11 February) told that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) received two complaints about the work from concerned members of the public.

When an inspector visited the factory on 28 February 2012 unsafe work was observed near numerous unprotected fragile rooflights. There was poorly-erected and incomplete edge protection and workers were not using safe work platforms or harnesses to prevent falls.

Two Prohibition Notices were served by HSE, halting work immediately.

Several weeks later the inspector uncovered evidence that a worker had fallen through one of the skylights on the morning of her visit. The court heard that Mr Lloyd denied it had happened and failed to provide any information about the injured person or any workers who may have witnessed the incident.

Russell Lloyd, 36, of Albert Avenue, Stapleford, pleaded guilty to breaching:

  • Regulations 4(1) and 9(2)(a) of the Work at Height Regulations for failing to ensure work was properly planned supervised and carried out safely using suitable protective measures such as platforms, guard rails and coverings; and
  • Section 20 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 for failing to provide information relevant to an investigation.

Nottingham Magistrates’ Court fined him £2,400 and ordered him to pay costs of £1,585. He was also disqualified as a director for two years.

After the hearing HSE inspector Frances Bailey said:

"Russell Lloyd showed a flagrant disregard of the perils of working at height. The poor system of work, the lack of equipment provided and the inadequate risk assessment meant that the work was extremely dangerous. The workers involved were young, inexperienced and untrained in roof work or working with asbestos.

"On average seven people each year are killed after falling through a fragile roof or fragile roof light. Many others suffer permanent disabling injury. However, falls can be easily prevented by careful planning, using trained and experienced workers with suitable equipment and employing a high level of supervision."

Guidance on safe working practices on fragile roofs is available at www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/geis5.htm

Information on preventing falls is available at www.hse.gov.uk/falls.

Notes to editors

  1. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice; promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice; and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk
  2. The full text of Section 20 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 can be viewed at www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1974/37/section/20
  3. Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 states: "Every employer shall ensure that work at height is properly planned, appropriately supervised and carried out in a manner which is so far as is reasonably practicable safe."
  4. Regulation 9(2)(a) of the same Act states: "Where it is not reasonably practicable to carry out work safely and under appropriate ergonomic conditions without passing across or near, or working on, from or near, a fragile surface, every employer shall ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that suitable and sufficient platforms, coverings, guard rails or similar means of support or protection are provided and used so that any foreseeable loading is supported by such supports or borne by such protection."

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