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MINOR ROOF REPAIRS REQUIRE PROPER PRECAUTIONS

Builder sentenced after roofers spotted working dangerously on restaurant roof

A builder has been sentenced after two of his employees put themselves, staff and customers at risk whilst undertaking minor roofwork at an open restaurant in Salford Quays.

Shire Building Services (Andrew McElvaney T/A) from Chesterfield has been fined £5,000 after workers were found replacing roof tiles without proper safety equipment in September 2009.

Members of the public below were put at risk

Trafford Magistrates heard that customers and staff at the restaurant were also put at risk. The area below where they were working had not been cordoned off and work was at one point carried out directly above a customer sitting at a table outside the restaurant.

A tower scaffold was used for roof access but the job involved work on the roof and outside the protection of the scaffold with a fall of some 3m to the ground.

Mr McElvaney pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 by failing to ensure the work was properly planned and carried out safely. He was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,916.

Risk came from poor planning

HSE Inspector Declan Geraghty said:

“Mr McElvaney is lucky no one was seriously injured or even killed as a result of the poor safety standards. The work had not been properly planned and as a result a tower scaffold was the only protection provided.

The roofers had to work all over the roof to replace a significant number of roof tiles but the tower scaffold could only be used for a small section of the roof. There were also no measures taken to cordon off the area below where his employees were working.

If one of the workers had slipped and fallen, or a tile had been dropped onto a customer or member of staff, then the consequences could have been fatal.”

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