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CLIENT AND CONTRACTOR FAILED TO PLAN WORK

System of work and suitable precautions not checked by client

The partner in a retail business and the construction company he contracted to undertake roof work have been fined for safety failings.

Portsmouth Magistrates heard how Alan Southwell arranged for major work on the roof of his retail premises on the Isle of Wight. The project work consisted of replacing all polycarbonate roof panels and was estimated to take three weeks.

HSE investigated as part of a programme of proactive inspection and determined that the work had not been suitably planned. Mr Southwell and the contractor had failed to identify the need to protect against falls through the roof.

Experienced contractor

Alan Southwell of Hazelmount Paddock, Isle of Wight, was fined a total of £2,000, with costs of £868 after pleading guilty to an offence under Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Imphouse Limited of Merston Manor Farm, Chapel Lane, Merston was fined a total of £2,000 with costs of £971 after pleading guilty to Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Dominic Goacher said:

“Falls through fragile roofs account for almost a quarter of all work at height deaths, so it is absolutely vital that any such work is properly planned and that the correct equipment and working methods are used at all times.

Mr Southwell as the client failed to ensure the contractors he appointed developed a safe system of work and took suitable precautions to prevent persons being hurt.

Imphouse when sending one of their employees to the site failed to appreciate the need for proper planning and implementation for the work to be done safely despite being an experienced contractor.”

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