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Window cleaning company fined for safety breaches

Date:
8 July 2015

A window cleaning firm and its sole director have been fined for health and safety breaches after the company was employed to clean the windows at a nursing home.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) successfully prosecuted Brian Stubbs (director) and Brian Stubbs and Company Limited at Stafford Magistrates’ Court after a window cleaner was observed standing on guttering on the outside of a balcony parapet wall on the third floor of St Joseph’s Nursing Home, Lichfield Road, Stafford, on 21 August 2014. An HSE investigation found that there was no suitable edge protection or other appropriate safety measures in place.

Mr Stubbs, of Westhead Avenue, Stafford, was fined a total of £660 and ordered to pay £867 costs after pleading guilty to breaching 3(1)(a) of The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

Brian Stubbs and Company Limited was fined £660 and ordered to pay £846 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

After the case HSE Inspector Katherine Blunt commented:

“Work being carried out in this manner was entirely avoidable. This could very easily have been a fatality.

“They didn’t have to do the work this way. As advertised on the company’s website, a ‘reach and wash’ system could have been used, which allows the cleaning of windows up to 65 feet.”

For more information on what employers need to do to protect employees when they work at height please visit – http://www.hse.gov.uk/work-at-height/ 

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 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 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.”
  3. Further HSE news releases are available at www.press.hse.gov.uk

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