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  Surrey firm shopped by the public for unsafe working at height

Surrey firm shopped by the public for unsafe working at height

1 November 2013 Email this article

A Surrey roofing company has been fined for unsafe work at height after concerned members of the public spotted workers walking on a fragile roof without any fall protection.

Following an HSE investigation about the work on a former industrial building in Gillingham, Industrial Roofing Limited – who had been sub-contracted to replace and repair gutters at the site - was prosecuted.

When a HSE inspector arrived at the site he saw clear evidence of work on the roofline without any precautions in place to prevent or mitigate a fall to the concrete floor below, a distance of some seven metres in places. A Prohibition Notice was served to prevent any further work on the roof until appropriate safeguards were in place, such as work platforms, coverings, guard rails and edge protection

An Improvement Notice was also served requiring employees to undergo formal work at height training. Neither this nor the earlier notice was contested by the company and improvements were belatedly made.

Industrial Roofing (Surrey) Limited, which is no longer trading , was fined a total of £13,400 and ordered to pay £9,167 in costs after pleading guilty to a single breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Melvyn Stancliffe said: “Work at height is inherently fraught with risk, and falls remain the single biggest cause of deaths and serious injury in the construction industry.

“It is therefore essential that effective management and training is in place to ensure risks are properly managed, and that adequate measures are taken to ensure workers are protected.

“I would like to thank the members of the public who brought this matter to our attention. They provided clear evidence of the unsafe way in which the roof work was being undertaken, and in doing so they may well have prevented a fall that could have killed or seriously injured a worker.”