Dangerous roof work caught on camera

A builder has been fined after two of his workers were photographed on a house roof in Burnley without safety measures in place. The builder in question was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) following the incident at a semi-detached house on 10 April 2014. Burnley Magistrates’ Court heard a passing HSE inspector spotted the men installing a dormer window for a loft conversion at the property.

The employer was inside the house and his two workers were close to the chimney on the outside, without any scaffolding or other safety measures to prevent them from being injured in a fall. The builder from Nelson, was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £400 in prosecution costs after pleading guilty to a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Jacqueline Western, said “It’s astonishing that this persons was prepared to carry out a construction project that involved major roof work, without putting safety measures in place to protect the people he employed. While he worked safely inside the house, the lives of two men were being put at risk as they clambered about on the roof.”

“The work simply shouldn’t have been allowed to go ahead without the use of scaffolding or other safety equipment. The risks from working at height are well known in the construction industry. It is therefore only luck that no one was injured on this occasion.”

Guidance from the HSE reveals that roofers account for 24% of all workers who are killed in falls from height while at work. Falls through fragile materials, such as roof lights, account for more of these deaths than any other single cause.

Santia’s Technical Director, Michael Taylor stated ‘Incidents of this nature reflect badly on the roofing industry and highlight just how important it is to understand the hierarchy of control when working at height, and ensure any required control measures are both fully implemented and inspected to ensure they remain effective.’

Santia Consulting Ltd delivers a number of approved courses that  help employers increase their understanding of working at height, and ensure the safety of their employees and others on site. These courses are delivered in a number of ways - in-company, e-learning and off-site classroom courses.

Post date: 04 Nov 2014

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