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CONTRACTOR FAILINGS SPOTTED BY PASSING HSE INSPECTOR

Firm prosecuted over unsafe roofwork on primary school premises

Hall Isherwood Ltd, of Blackburn has been fined after work was carried out on a primary school roof in Chorley without safety measures in place. An HSE Inspector was passing the school on 31 January 2012 when he spotted four men working on the roof.

There was no scaffolding or other safety equipment installed to prevent the men from being injured in a fall. One man was working at the edge of the roof next to a 3m drop. The inspector prohibited work until safety measures were put in place.

Access to the roof was by a ladder which was not secured to stop it slipping. On the roof there were no guard rails or scaffolding in place to stop the men falling from open edges.

South Ribble Magistrates heard the company had been hired to carry out work at the school including painting work and replacing slates on one side of a sloping roof.

Principal contractor was responsible for making sure lives not put at risk

Hall Isherwood Ltd, of Wensley Road in Blackburn, was fined £750 and ordered to pay £1,581 in prosecution costs after admitting two breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Anthony Polec said:

“This was a large project taking place over several days. Scaffolding or other safety equipment should therefore have been used to ensure the work could be carried out safely.

As the principal contractor on the site, Hall Isherwood was responsible for making sure lives weren’t put at risk. However, it allowed the workers to use an unstable ladder to reach the roof and there were no safety measures in place once they were on top of the building.

Falls from height are responsible for several deaths on UK construction sites every year and it’s only luck that no one was injured in this instance.”

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