Suspended sentence for repeated safety breaches

A Manchester based roofer has been sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for 2 years, given 240 hours community service and fined just under £5,000 costs for breaching health and safety laws.

The roofer and his employee were contracted to carry out roof replacement work, but he failed to implement any form of edge protection or scaffolding while the work was being carried out and didn’t have any employers’ liability compulsory insurance.

An HSE investigation found that the roofer had already been served with two prohibition notices on two separate occasions for working at height with no suitable edge protection. Despite this, he continued to work without appropriate scaffolding or protection, putting both himself and his employee at risk of a fall from height.  His actions also put members of the public at risk from any falling materials.

The roofer pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6 (3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, Regulation 10 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Section 1 (1) of the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969.

Speaking after the hearing, the HSE inspector said: “This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply having the correct control measures and safe working practices in place.”  He went on to say that the roofer “chose to save money by not having scaffolding and in doing so put his life at risk as well as the lives of his employee and visitors to the butcher’s shop.  Companies and individuals should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”

All work at height should be carried risk assessed and properly planned in order to ensure the work can be carried out safely and appropriate equipment used.  Our Blog series on the Importance of Planning Work at Height Properly explains how to plan work at height.

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