Suspended sentence for owner of Merseyside roofing firm

A roofing company owner has been given a suspended sentence after a member of the public reported a concern regarding unsafe work at height.

Liverpool Crown Court heard how, on 5 March 2021, company owner Phillip McGinn and two workers were replacing roof tiles on a detached dormer bungalow, in Lydiate on Merseyside, without any scaffolding or edge protection in place to prevent them from falling a distance liable to cause personal injury.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that Phillip McGinn had failed to take suitable and sufficient measures to ensure that work at height was carried out safely. He had failed to provide sufficient work equipment to prevent a fall or to minimise the distance or consequences of a fall.

The court also heard that this was not the first time that HSE had encountered poor working practices from Phillip McGinn. The HSE took previous enforcement action and prosecuted Mr McGinn for a similar offence in 2012.

Phillip McGinn of Lydiate, Merseyside, was found guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. He received a thirteen-month suspended prison sentence, 200 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay costs of £1,000.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Anthony Stuart Hadfield said: “Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well known. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standard”.

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. We prevent work-related death, injury and ill health through regulatory actions that range from influencing behaviours across whole industry sectors through to targeted interventions on individual businesses. These activities are supported by globally recognised scientific expertise. hse.gov.uk
  2. More about the legislation referred to in this case can be found at: legislation.gov.uk/
  3. HSE news releases are available at http://press.hse.gov.uk
  4. More information and guidance can be found at: https://www.hse.gov.uk/work-at-height