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ROOFING COMPANY PROSECUTED OVER UNSAFE ROOFWORK

Reclamation of roof tiles carried out in unsafe manner by contractor

Dan Shea, trading as Blackmoor Roofing, has been ordered to pay over £16,000 in fines and prosecution cost after workmen reclaimed roof tiles without scaffolding or safety barriers to prevent a fall.

Mr Shea bought used roof tiles from a demolition contractor on the understanding his firm would remove them before the building was dismantled. He set three migrant labourers to work removing the tiles.

Staines Magistrates’ Court heard that on 8 February 2010 HSE received reports that one man was on the wet roof without a safety barriers or scaffolding, another was in the raised bucket of an excavator and the third was on top of a long ladder “throwing wall tiles to ground level”.

The court heard HSE attempted to reach Mr Shea on more than five occasions to discuss the incident but he failed to answer correspondence, phone calls or attend interviews to discuss the matter.

‘Incredible’ that precautions not in place

Mr Shea of Blackmoor Roofing, based at Petersfield Road, Greatham, Liss, Hampshire pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 25(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. He was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,497.

HSE Inspector Denis Bodger said:

“It is incredible that Mr Shea’s workers were using an excavator bucket to get onto a wet roof and were allowed to remove tiles without anything to prevent them from falling. In this instance the risk of falling was also increased by the fact that it was wet from rain and sleet.

Falls from height are among the biggest causes of workplace deaths in the UK. Roofing firms should have safe systems in place to protect employees and sub-contractors. HSE will not hesitate to prosecute companies that workers or members of the public at risk.”

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