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PUBLIC RISK PROMPTS PRE-EMPTIVE PROSECUTION

Roofwork tile and other debris puts pavement users in great danger 

A self-employed roofer has been prosecuted after he put lives at risk during work on the roof of a fish and chip shop. HSE took legal action against Alex Morrisey after he and a labourer were spotted “balancing dangerously” on the roof of the Kearsley Fish Bar on 30 July 2010.

HSE received reports that materials, including tile and wood, were being dropped onto the pavement below during the minor roofwork project. Inspectors found scaffolding at the front but there was nothing at the back to stop falls to the ground below.

Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard that Mr Morrisey had not erected measures to prevent materials falling to the ground, despite members of the public still entering the fish and chip shop during the day.

Member of the public could have been seriously injured

Alex Morrisey admitted two breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 by failing to take action to stop workers being injured in a fall, and by not preventing materials falling to the ground below. Mr Morrisey, of Trafford Street in Farnworth, was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £800 in prosecution costs.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Ian Betley commented:

“This was a basic error that could have resulted in someone being seriously injured or even killed. Not only did Mr Morrisey put himself in danger, he also risked the life of the labourer he employed.

He also failed to do anything to prevent members of the public being injured by falling materials. Some of the pieces of wood that were dropped from the scaffolding had nails in them so they could have caused a nasty injury.

Falls from height are a major cause of workplace deaths and injuries in the UK. It’s therefore vital that roofers take the risks seriously.”

Comment

The HSE plan of work for 2011 onwards targets such smaller high risk work where the majority of deaths now occur. The proposals for charging those in breach may provide a further incentive in that such non-compliance could cost ‘offenders’ some £1000 plus even if a prosecution is not initiated.

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One Response to “PUBLIC RISK PROMPTS PRE-EMPTIVE PROSECUTION”

  1. HSE ENFORCEMENT WEEKLY UPDATE 28th SEPTEMBER 2011 | PP Construction Safety News Desk Says:

    […] Morrisey – public and worker risk during roofwork: £1,000; […]