Unsafe roof work leads to fine

HSEA West Midlands building firm has been fined after twice being spotted carrying out unsafe roof work just days apart.

An employee of Chohan Builders (West Midlands) was seen working on the roof of a house in Quinton on June 13 2014, having used a poorly-built tower scaffold to access the roof.

A Prohibition Notice was served by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as the access to the scaffolding was unsafe and there was no bracing. The notice immediately stopped work on the site until the scaffolding was improved and edge protection or another suitable platform was used.

However, Birmingham Magistrates’ Court heard on December 12 that just five days later, on June 18, a worker was spotted on a sloping garage roof with no control measures in place to prevent the worker from falling. A second Prohibition Notice was served on the firm.

Magistrates were told that although nobody was hurt at either location, the fall risk was significant, and that allowing near-identical failings less than a week after the first unsafe practice was identified was wholly irresponsible.

Chohan Builders (West Midlands), of West Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, was fined œ2,000 and ordered to pay œ981 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Gareth Langston said: “Work at height continues to be a key area for HSE, mainly because unsafe practices while carrying out this type of work continue to cause death and major injury.

“This company was issued with two Prohibition Notices for essentially the same thing less than a week apart. Luckily, no-one was hurt, but this kind of repeated behaviour, which shows a willful ignorance of the dangers of working at height, has to be brought before the court.”


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