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Cleaning company fined for risky rooftop work

Date:
6 August 2014

A Stoke-on-Trent company, which uses jet washers to clean roof tiles, has been fined after a worker was spotted on a roof without any falls protection in place.

A member of the public spotted a man standing on the pitched roof of a domestic property in Cheddleton, Staffordshire, while carrying out the cleaning work on 25 October 2013.

The member of the public took photos of the work taking place and contacted the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) who carried out an investigation.

Stafford Magistrates’ Court heard today (6 August) that an inspector from HSE’s Stoke office followed up the member of the public’s report and found that Roof Right UK Ltd routinely arranged for such work to take place without any suitable falls protection being in place.

A Prohibition Notice was issued to Roof Right UK Ltd preventing them from carrying out further work unless suitable controls such as scaffolding were provided.

Roof Right UK Ltd of Festival Park, Stoke-on-Trent, were found guilty in their absence to breaching Regulation 3(1)(b) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, and Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. They were fined £10,000 and were ordered to pay costs of £1,277.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Andrew Bowker said:

“I would like to thank the member of the public for bringing this matter to our attention as they have undoubtedly prevented a serious injury. 

“It is staggering to me that a company operating in 2013 thought that it was acceptable to allow workers onto pitched property roofs to carry out jet washing work without providing scaffolding or other suitable falls protection measures.

“Roof Right UK Ltd put workers’ lives in danger by allowing them onto a slippery roof without suitable safety measures being in place. They failed to recognise their responsibility to ensure that work at height carried out under their control was done safely.”

Falls from Height are responsible for around a third of workplace deaths every year, with 25 people losing their lives in 2012/13. For further information, go to http://www.hse.gov.uk/work-at-height/index.htm

Notes to editors

  1. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce 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 3(1)(b) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 states: “Every employer shall make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of persons not in his employment arising out of or in connection with the conduct by him of his undertaking, for the purpose of identifying the measures he needs to take to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed upon him by or under the relevant statutory provisions and by Part II of the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997.”
  3. Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 states: “(1)  Every employer shall ensure that work at height is (a)properly planned; (b) appropriately supervised; and (c) carried out in a manner which is so far as is reasonably practicable safe, and that its planning includes the selection of work equipment in accordance with regulation 7.
  4. HSE news releases are available at press.hse.gov.uk

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