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    PROSECUTION FOLLOWS FAILURE TO CHANGE BEHAVIOUR

    Powerwashing roof without precautions lands refurb firm in court

    Canova UK Ltd of Heswell has been fined after employees carried out roof repairs and power washing by standing on a sloping roof without scaffolding, edge protection or other safety equipment to prevent a fall.

    Wirral Magistrates’ Court heard an HSE inspector visited the property on 29 January 2010 after receiving a complaint about work on the site. Two employees had been using a power washer to remove moss and other detritus.

    The inspector found one man at the ridge with others on the roof at the rear of the building. A prohibition notice was issued stopping the work.

    The court was told that the company had previously received a prohibition notice following a similar roofwork incident in October 2009.

    Similar incident four months before

    Canova UK Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £1,500 in costs.

    HSE Inspector Michael Hodge said:

    “It’s extremely disappointing that Canova UK allowed two of its employees to work on a roof without safety equipment, despite receiving a formal warning over a similar incident less than four months earlier.

    If either of the workers had slipped and fallen, they would have been seriously injured or even killed. We therefore had no other choice but to prosecute the company.

    Falls from height are among the biggest causes of workplace deaths in the UK. Roofing firms should therefore ensure they have safe systems of work in place to protect workers.”

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