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MANAGER AND WORKERS CONLUDE IN FAILURE

Flat roofing contractors fined after lies and failed inspection

Bracknell Roofing Co Ltd, of Sevenoaks, Kent has been ordered to pay over £10k in fines and prosecution costs after employees failed to provide truthful answers when questioned by a HSE Inspector who stopped to investigate unsafe scaffolding in June 2008

The inspector saw three employees of Bracknell Roofing Co Ltd using an unsafe tower scaffold to repair a flat roof. The roof and tower scaffold had no edge protection.

The tower lacked a working safe platform and was propped up on bricks and blocks.

A company manager had allowed work to continue only 45 minutes before the HSE inspection.

HSE Inspector Steve Woods said: “This inadequate tower scaffold was owned by Bracknell Roofing and had been taken out of their depot just for this job. The three men on site refused to give me the name of the company and also gave false names and contact details.

“The equipment that should have been used was easily available and could have been provided by the company if adequate planning of the work had been undertaken. The unsafe working practice should have been stopped by the company manager when he visited site.”

Comment: Some readers may ask whether the manager and employees were also prosecuted regarding these matters? If not, one must presume that the attitudes and actions expressed were more widespread and that HSE felt individuals were merely following the “corporate culture”.

The actions of the employees and manager are surprising and show the scale of improvement required at the smaller refurbishment end of the construction industry. 

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