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LACK OF SAFETY PRECAUTIONS UNDERCUT OTHERS

Roofing contractor in court and fined after complaint to HSE

T Colwell Roofing (T Colwell T/A) has been prosecuted for safety failings after a complaint was made to HSE regarding unsafe roof work in Bracknell in August 2014. There were no injuries although members of the public were endangered by the potential for falling objects.

Reading Magistrates’ Court heard the contractor was engaged undertake roof repairs to a commercial property. The sole trader Terry Colwell chose to carry out the work without a scaffold despite working at a height of up to 8m with no fall protection or falling object protection to protect members of the public.

HSE established that Mr Colwell undertook the work for £650. The cost of a scaffold would have been between £1400 and £1500.

Fully aware of the dangers

T Colwell Roofing (T Colwell T/A) Harmans Water, Bracknell, was fined a total of £2,000 and ordered to pay £1,966 in costs after pleading guilty to a single breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

After the hearing HSE Inspector John Caboche said:

“This was a serious incident that could have ended in tragedy for Mr Colwell or a member of the public had he fallen or had a loose roof tile been dislodged during the repairs.

The incident was wholly preventable and could have been avoided had Mr Colwell used a scaffold and not undercut the other roofing company and if the operation been better planned and managed.

It is essential that roof work is carefully assessed by competent persons, with a plan in place to prevent falls of persons and objects. Roof work remains one of the most dangerous activities in the construction sphere.

Terry Colwell was fully aware of the dangers of roof work and HSE publishes extensive guidance that is readily-available of how to safely manage this type of work.”

 

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