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RECALCITRANT ROOFING CONTRACTOR RISKED LIVES

Roof coating work carried out unsafely despite extensive previous HSE advice

Rainsafe Protect Ltd has been prosecuted after undertaking work on a ‘slippery roof’ without precautions to stop falls.

The two workers from were spotted by HSE inspectors pressure washing the sloping house roof on in Bebington on the Wirral in March 2010.  No safety barriers or scaffolding were erected around the edge of the roof to stop serious injured in a fall.

The Magistrates heard that the company had received advice about working at height from HSE on four separate occasions during the previous month, but had still recoated the roof without safety measures in place.

During February 2010, inspectors visited two Rainsafe sites and the company’s head office in Liverpool. Managers from the firm also attended a safety awareness event organised by HSE.

Inspector ‘shocked’ to see lack of precautions

Rainsafe Protect Ltd pleaded guilty to a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 after it failed to make sure the work was planned and carried out safely at the house in Bebington. The company, of Stanley Street in Liverpool, was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £2,069 in prosecution costs on 16 August 2011.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Sandra Tomlinson said:

“It’s extremely disappointing that, despite receiving advice from HSE on several occasions just a few weeks earlier, Rainsafe still allowed this work to go ahead without planning it properly and putting safety measures in place.

When one of our inspectors visited the property in Bebington he was shocked to see the workers pressure washing the roof without safety barriers or scaffolding.

This could easily have resulted in one or both of the employees being seriously injured or even killed if they had slipped and fallen to the ground below.”

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