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Roofing firm caught on camera risking lives

Date:
27 March 2014

A West London roofing company and its director have been prosecuted after workers were photographed on a house roof without any safety measures to stop them falling to the ground below.

The offences came to light when a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector witnessed the potential dangers to workers on the roof of a property in Kingsbury, Brent, after receiving a complaint.

Westminster Magistrates heard yesterday (26 March) that the work was being carried out by Ranjit Roofing Company Ltd, of Ealing, under the control of director Ranjit Singh, from Hounslow.

HSE said the inspector had seen three workers on the roof of the property, on 10 July 2012, but without adequate measures, such as scaffolding or harnesses, to safeguard them from falls. There was also nothing to prevent other building materials or objects from falling, also exposing any workers on the ground to a serious risk of injury.

The court was told that the company was served with an immediate prohibition notice preventing any further work at height at the property until sufficient safety measures had been put in place.

Ranjit Roofing Co Ltd, of Speart Lane, Hounslow, was fined £5,000 with £4,137 costs after admitting breaching the Work at Height Regulations.

Ranjit Singh, of Ruislip Road, Greenford, Middlesex, was given a two year conditional discharge and ordered to pay full costs of £1,957 for a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 in his capacity as director of the company.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Jack Wilby said:

“The consequences of a fall from height are likely to be life-changing. That is why HSE will not hesitate to take action against companies that fall so lamentably below standards when it comes to protecting their staff.

“This is the second prosecution of a roofing company from this part of London for similar safety failings in just a few months. The fact that there was no incident in this case is immaterial – the danger was there and someone could have been injured, or even killed, at any time.

“The safety standards required to protect workers against falls from height are readily accessible on HSE’s website.”

A simple guide for contractors who work on roofs is available at http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/cis60.pdf

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) 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.”
  3. Section 37(1) of the Health and Safety At Work etc. Act 1974 state: “Where an offence under any of the relevant statutory provisions committed by a body corporate is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or to have been attributable to any neglect on the part of, any director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the body corporate or a person who was purporting to act in any such capacity, he as well as the body corporate shall be guilty of that offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.”

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