Roofing contractor sentenced after breaching working at height safety regulations

Health and Safety staff reported C Smith Roofing when they could see unsafe scaffolding from their office windows. Mr Smith was given an eight-month prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to complete 200 hours of community service.

During the court hearing, it was reported that Mr Smith was contracted to carry out roofing works on a guest house in Northallerton in November 2015. Scaffolding was erected along the full length of the roof at the front of the property. Due to the conservatory structure at the rear, only a partial scaffold was set up, which left two thirds of the rear roof edge unprotected.

In February 2016, risk managers at North Yorkshire County Council could see the roofing works from their window and had some safety concerns about the two roofers who did not have adequate fall protection measures in place – such as scaffolding. The two roofers, working under the remit of Mr Smith, were at risk of falling around 7m from the unprotected edge of the roof.

Mr Smith pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6 (3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was ordered to pay £5,800 in costs as well as receiving a suspended prison sentence and unpaid work requirement.

After the hearing, Tania Shiffer, Health and Safety executive inspector, commented: “Work at height, such as roof work, is a high-risk activity that accounts for a high proportion of workplace serious injuries and fatalities each year.
“There were not suitable or sufficient measures in place to prevent the risk of a person falling a distance liable to cause personal injury.

“This is a good example of HSE working closely with local authority partners, helping Great Britain work well.”