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    Industrial roofing firm prosecuted over fragile roof frolic 

    Industrial Roofing (Surrey) Limited has been fined after concerned members of the public spotted workers on a fragile roof in Surrey without any fall protection in March 2012.

    Medway Magistrates heard (15 October) the Guildford-based firm had been contracted to replace and repair gutters on a former industrial building.

    When the HSE inspector arrived at the site he found clear evidence of work on the roofline without any precautions in place to prevent or mitigate a fall to the concrete floor 7m below. Work was prohibited until appropriate safeguards were in place e.g. work platforms, coverings, guard rails and edge protection.

    Video footage obtained by HSE showed workers ‘casually’ walking along the asbestos cement sheet roof which was clearing signed as being ‘fragile’. An Improvement Notice issued requiring formal work at height training. 

    Effective management and training is essential

    Industrial Roofing (Surrey) Limited, of Guildford was fined a total of £13,400 and ordered to pay £9,167 in costs after pleading guilty to a single breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

    After the hearing, HSE inspector Melvyn Stancliffe said:

    “Work at height is inherently fraught with risk, and falls remain the single biggest cause of deaths and serious injury in the construction industry.

    It is therefore essential that effective management and training is in place to ensure risks are properly managed, and that adequate measures are taken to ensure workers are protected.

    I would like to thank the members of the public who brought this matter to our attention. They provided clear evidence of the unsafe way in which the roof work was being undertaken, and in doing so they may well have prevented a fall that could have killed or seriously injured a worker.”

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