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A West London roofing firm has been found guilty of failing to enforce safety measures after it allowed employees to work on roofs without scaffolding or other safety equipment. The verdict is a stern reminder to employers about their strict duty of care to their employees.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted HR Roofing of Bishops Road, Hayes, Hillingdon, at Westminster Magistrates’ Court after seeing the hazardous practices being carried out in two different instances, one at a site in Harrow and the other in Ealing.
Officials were told that an HSE inspector came across the first incident in March 2013 and identified workers carrying out roofing repairs on a property in Glebe Avenue, Harrow. The inspector observed no scaffolding or any of the standard health and safety measures in place to protect employees from falls.
HSE therefore took instant action against HR Roofing by serving them a prohibition notice stopping all work at height until the necessary fall precautions were put in place.
Just two months later, in May 2013, the same hazards were spotted by inspectors at a property in Bilton Road, Perivale, Ealing. Another notice was served and a full investigation followed. In both instances, the Health and Safety Executive considered there was an extreme threat to safety with measures failing to meet the minimum standard required by health and safety law.
HR Roofing Ltd was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £1,654 in costs after admitting two breaches of the Work at Height Regulations.
Caroline Sergeant, senior personal injury solicitor and technical manager at the Liverpool office of Paul Rooney Solicitors, said: “Falls from height are one of the biggest causes of workplace fatalities and major injuries, yet no measures had been put in place to try to avoid falls.
HR Roofing exposed workers to unacceptable risks of injury and then chose to ignore the direction from the HSE.
The HSE doesn’t take these matters lightly and so the firm are paying greatly for their actions, not only financially, but also with their damaged reputation.”
The Work at Height Regulations were introduced in 2005 to make sure that businesses take steps to prevent falls or reduce the risk of harm from falls through training, using the correct equipment and inspection procedures.
Employers need to carry out a risk assessment of all work carried out at a height and if working at height cannot be avoided, the employer must ensure that the work is properly planned, fully supervised and executed in a safe and careful manner.
Falls from a height remain the biggest cause of injury and death within the construction industry and such complete disregard for the workers on site is beyond belief. If you have been involved in an accident at work and suffered an injury because your employer has not complied with the Work at Height Regulations, then you may be entitled to pursue a claim for compensation. Contact Paul Rooney Solicitors on 0800 007 006 or fill out the form on the right and we will call you back right away.