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HEFTY COST FOR THREE WEEKS OF CONTRACTOR FAILURE

Workmen and the public put at risk during unsafe work on warehouse roof

Roofing contractor SPV Road Carpet Ltd has been ordered to pay over £20,000 in fines and prosecution costs after HSE Inspectors found three roof workers on the fragile roof of a Nottingham cash and carry store without any safety equipment in May 2009.

An SPV employee, Lewis Male, was also prosecuted for failing to take reasonable care of himself and others. The court heard Mr Male was and the two other men were replacing rooflights when a passing HSE inspector noticed the lack of safety equipment and edge protection and other arrangements.

Enquiries revealed that the unsafe system of work had continued over a period of three weeks thereby posing a risk of injury to the roof workers and employees or customers within the store.

Careful planning and assessment missing

SPV Road Carpet Ltd, of Aldridge, Walsall pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 for failing to protect their own employees and members of the public in the store at the time. It was fined £14,000 with £6,659 costs.

Mr Male, of Sheffield, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 7 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was fined £480 and ordered to pay costs of £650.

HSE inspector Frances Bailey said:

“Roofing work requires careful planning and assessment of the risks involved. In this case employees had been working for three weeks without the correct equipment to protect them from falls and without adequate supervision. Fortunately no one was injured on this occasion, but both employees and members of the public inside the store below were at risk.

Comment

This is a further example of how short duration work on commercial projects is often poorly planned and managed despite the obvious and severe risk posed by working on fragile materials

The client for such work has clear duties to select competent contractors and make arrangements for managing the project which ensure the safety of all who may be affected by the work.

The project client, Booker Ltd, was prosecuted for an alleged breach of HSW Act Section 3. The company was found not guilty after a four day trial. 

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One Response to “HEFTY COST FOR THREE WEEKS OF CONTRACTOR FAILURE”

  1. Roofers fined for lack of fall protection – The Construction Index | BLE Says:

    […] November 2010) fined …Trio of roofers dice with death on cash and carryConstruction EnquirerHEFTY COST FOR THREE WEEKS OF CONTRACTOR FAILUREConstruction Health and Safety Newsall 4 news […]