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DEMOLITION FIRM FINE FOLLOWS WHISTLEBLOWING

Concerned member of public provided images of danger to HSE

AG Edwards & Son Demolition Ltd has appeared in court after being caught on camera risking the lives of workers on the roof of a disused pub.

A concerned member of the public contacted HSE with photographs showing tiles being removed from the roof without precautions in place to prevent falls up to 6m to the ground below.

An HSE inspector visited the site in Windsor on 7 January 2014 and served an immediate enforcement notice after viewing the dangers first hand. The notice prohibited any further work at height until adequate safety measures were in place to protect the two workmen on site.

Reading Magistrates heard (19 Feb) that the company clearly put the two men in danger by failing to plan the removal of the tiles to recognised standards.

There was a failure to manage or monitor the roof work, leading to the workers being exposed to a totally unnecessary risk of falling.

Disregard for safety is totally unacceptable

AG Edwards & Son Demolition Ltd, of Windsor, Berks, was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £1,053 in costs after admitting a breach of the Work at Height Regulations.

Following the hearing, HSE inspector Dominic Goacher said:

“AG Edwards & Son put the lives at risk of two workers by carrying out this demolition job in a totally unsafe manner. Anyone falling from the roof of that disused pub would likely be killed and that type of disregard for safety is totally unacceptable.

The company failed to follow basic safety precautions and heed the freely available guidance available. Had the work been planned correctly, suitable protection such as a scaffold, a fully-guarded platform and edge protection would have been in place.”

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