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Monmouth roofing firm in court again over unsafe work

Date:
20 June 2013

A Monmouth roofing firm has been fined after it allowed workers onto a house roof without safety measures in place, despite an employee being injured in a fall less than five months earlier.

Newlook Roof Coatings Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following a complaint about work at a detached house in Stourport, Worcestershire on 26 March 2012.

Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court heard today (20 June) that two of the company’s employees had used an unsecured ladder to reach the roof to clean and paint the tiles. There was no scaffolding around the edge of the roof to prevent them falling to the ground below.

The court was told that Newlook Roof Coatings had also been in court after a 26 year-old employee fell from the roof of a house in Cirencester in 2011. Again, the company admitted failing to provide the necessary protection against falls from height.

Lee Hanson fell six metres after losing his footing on a roof ladder, but his fall was broken by a bush. He broke his right wrist, suffered cuts and bruising, and was unable to return to work for six weeks.

Newlook Roof Coatings Ltd, of Wonastow Road in Monmouth, was charged with two breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 following the incident in Stourport in March 2012.

The company was fined £11,500 and ordered to pay costs of £6,737 after pleading guilty to the offences, which relate to failing to properly plan work at height and failing to ensure measures are taken to prevent workers being injured in a fall.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Sue Adsett said:

"This is the second time Newlook Roof Coatings has been prosecuted over unsafe work at height, and follows an incident where a worker was injured after falling from a roof.

"It was only luck that no one was seriously injured on this occasion. There was no excuse for not erecting scaffolding around the roof for a job lasting a day or more like this, especially given the previous warnings the company has had.

"I hope this latest prosecution will mean Newlook finally gets the message about the importance of safety when it comes to working at height."

Falls from height are the most common cause of workplace deaths in Britain today. Information on how to prevent them 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. Regulation 4(1)(a) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 states: "Every employer shall ensure that work at height is properly planned."
  3. Regulation 6(3) of the same Regulations states: "Where work is carried out at height, every employer shall take suitable and sufficient measures to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, any person falling a distance liable to cause personal injury."

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