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    ROOFLINE CONTRACTOR FAILED TO HEED WARNINGS

    Firm fined after putting lives at risk during roofline refurbishment

    Viewline Northwest Ltd has been ordered to pay over £7k in fines and prosecution costs after HSE inspectors observed roof-line work being carried out from a platform without edge protection.

    Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard that the company from Prestwich had previously been warned by HSE about putting workers at risk when working at height after a similar incident in March 2009 in Rochdale.

    HSE ordered the work to stop immediately until the company addressed the its concerns.

    Failure to heed warnings is unacceptable 

    HSE Inspector, Helen Mansfield, said:

    “There were clear failings that left employees at risk of falling a significant height from the working platform. If the worker had slipped or stepped back a few inches too far, we could have easily been dealing with a fatality.

    Falls from height are the biggest cause of death and serious injury at work and employers must make sure that they plan and manage jobs properly to keep workers safe.

    It is simply unacceptable that this company had not heeded previous warnings from HSE, and it is lucky that this incident did not result in injury.”

    Viewline Northwest pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, for failing to take suitable and sufficient measures to prevent a fall from a roof. The company was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,274 on 17 September.

    Comment

    Roof-line work can often be found carried out unsafely – even by well known major national companies. The work is undertaken by small unsupervised teams who are tempted to cut corners in the erection and maintenance of tower scaffold systems.

    In addition, failure to thoroughly survey the site before starting can result in unsuitable platforms being provided.

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