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Roofing company fined after safety failings

Date: 8 June 2017


A roofing company has today been sentenced for safety failings related to working at height.

Brighton Magistrates Court heard how numerous concerns were raised by members of the public about work being carried out by G & S Roofing Limited. The company twice ignored written advice to address the issue of working at height in an unsafe manner.


In August 2016, a further concern was raised by a member of the public who contacted the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after seeing more evidence of operatives hired by G & S Roofing working unsafely from height. Inspectors then visited the site.


The HSE investigation found one of the operatives to be working on the flashings of a chimney from a ladder resting on the pitch of the roof at the unguarded gable end of the two storey house. There was nothing at the gable end of the roof to prevent a person falling. There were no suitable measures in place to prevent a person falling from the gable end, a fall which could have caused personal injury. A prohibition was served but the company took no action to rectify the dangerous working conditions.


G & S Roofing Ltd of Pembroke Lodge, 3 Pembroke Road, Ruslip was found guilty in its absence to breaching Regulations 4(1)(a) and 4(1)(c) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 by virtue of Regulation 3(b). The company was today fined a total of £80,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,574.


Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Rebekah Dunn said: “The dangers associated with working at height are well-known and G & S Roofing had a duty to protect all operatives from the risk of falling from height. Despite repeated advice, the company failed to put in adequate precautionary measures.


“It is vital for duty-holders to ensure that all issues related to health and safety are suitably addressed, particularly when the issues are highlighted.”


HSE to make cost recovery dispute process fully independent

Date:    9 February 2017


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has announced that it is to consult on proposals to make its cost recovery scheme dispute process fully independent.


The scheme, Fee for Intervention (FFI) was introduced in October 2012 to shift the cost of regulating workplace health and safety from the public purse to businesses which break the law and ensures the cost burden of HSE intervention is picked up by those companies and not taxpayers.


If an inspector identifies serious health and safety failings in the workplace about which they need to write to the dutyholder, then that dutyholder has to pay the costs of the HSE visit. If the inspector simply issues verbal advice there is no charge. If there is disagreement on HSE’s decision the dutyholder can dispute it.


Until now, disputes were considered by a panel which consisted of two members from HSE and one independent person. However, after reviewing the current process HSE will consult with relevant stakeholders with a view to making the process fully independent.


A spokesperson for HSE said: “HSE has always kept the dispute process under review and following a recent application for a judicial review we believe the time is right to move to a dispute process which is completely independent of HSE.”


Construction company director imprisoned after safety failings

Date:   6 February 2017


The director of a construction company has been imprisoned for eight months after failing to take appropriate action which resulted in a young worker receiving serious burns.


Cardiff Crown Court heard the young worker was instructed to stand on top of a skip and pour a drum of flammable thinners onto the burning waste to help it to burn. The fireball that resulted when the thinners ignited caused the worker to be blown from the skip and he suffered substantial burns to his arms and legs.


An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company director did not ensure the burning of the waste material was being carried out in a safe or appropriate manner. He failed to administer any first aid to the young injured worker and did not send him to hospital, the most appropriate response given the severity of the injuries suffered. He failed to inform HSE of the incident, a legal requirement, and the incident was only reported sometime later by a third part David Gordon Stead of Mildred Street, Beddau, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and also pled guilty to breaching Section 4 (1) of The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) and was sentenced to 32 weeks imprisonment, half on release under licence. He has also been disqualified from being a company director for seven years.


Speaking after the case HSE inspector Adele Davies said “David Stead failed his employees. His actions could have resulted in the death of this worker. The young man suffered unnecessary life threatening injuries due to poor working standards.


“We hope this sentence sends out a message that directors of businesses must take their health and safety responsibilities seriously.”


Building Contractor fined after workers fatal fall

Date:   8 February 2017


A Manchester building contractor has been jailed following the death of a casual labourer who fell nearly seven metres through a fragile roof.


The 45-year-old labourer from Manchester had been carrying out repair work at Witney Mill, Manchester when the incident occurred on 23 November 2013.


Saleem Hussain had been engaged by the warehouse owner, who believed him to be a competent building contractor, to carry out repair and maintenance work on the warehouse roof. He then hired two people to do the work.


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found that both workers were not qualified to carry out work at height. They had accessed the roof via a ladder in order to repair and seal leaking guttering. No safety precautions were in place to protect the two men from the danger of falling through the fragile roof.

Manchester Crown Court heard that Mr Hussain failed to assess the risks or put a safe working method in place. No suitable training or equipment to work on the roof had been provided.


Saleem Hussain of Birchfields Road, Manchester pleaded guilty to a breach of Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was sentenced to 8 months immediate imprisonment.


Speaking after the hearing HSE Principal Inspector Mike Sebastian said:”The dangers of falls through fragile roofs and working at height are well known. Simple steps such as removing the need to access the roof directly by using mobile working platforms, or boarding out the roof, or using safety harnesses, can and should be used to prevent accident and injury.


Mr Hussain’s failure to take any such actions resulted in a tragic and needless loss of life”.


Sentence after self-employed builder suffers serious electric shock


A real estate lettings company was sentenced today for safety breaches after a self- employed builder suffered first and third degree burns to his face, hands, neck and chest.


The injured worker 50-year-old Michael Phillips suffered an electric shock in October 2015 when he was carrying out work for IPH Investments Ltd at an address in Station Parade Harrogate.


The premises were being converted into a sunbed and beauty salon. The usual supply for most domestic dwellings is 240v but because this supply was feeding both shop premises and residential flats a larger supply was needed (400v). The company needed to carry out some preparatory work before the new supply could be installed. This involved the digging out of a small trench in the hallway of the site so that a new electricity supply could be installed into the property. While digging the trench Mr Phillips struck the existing live service cable with the small breaker he was using.


The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted the firm over the incident. IPH Investments Ltd of Orchard House Haywra Street Harrogate pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and was fined £53,000.00 with £654.60 costs by Leeds Magistrates Court.


After the hearing, HSE inspector Jayne Towey commented: “This case was entirely preventable if the company had carried out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment before work began.


“The company could have used a cable avoidance tool (CAT) before any digging was carried out. This would have helped to locate the buried electrical service.”


http://www.hse.gov.uk/electricity/information/excavations.htm


Real estate company fined for safety failings


A real estate company in Oxfordshire has been fined for failing to manage asbestos on their premises following a fire.


Reading Crown Court heard how a fire occurred at Faringdon Business Park on 26 July 2014 destroying four units on the site.


Tapecrown Limited failed to have a suitable plan and risk assessment in place for the safe management of asbestos containing materials on their premises.


Tapecrown Limited, of Market Place, Wantage, Oxfordshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(3) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, and was fined £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £4,000.


HSE inspector Sharron Cripps said: “It is important for all duty holders to manage asbestos on their premises. To do this the dutyholder needs to identify asbestos containing material (ACM), determine where it is located, what condition it is in and what measures should be taken to manage the risk associated with asbestos.


Director Jailed for 12 Months


A company director has been jailed for 12-months following the death of one of his workers.


Father-of-three Paul Williamson, who was 51 years old, died on 29 January 2014 when a remote controlled Mobile Elevated Working Platform (MEWP) he was loading on to a truck fell from the ramps and crushed him.


Manchester Crown Court heard how Paul Williamson had not been adequately trained on the use of the ramps, the lorry and the MEWP. There was no risk assessment in place and no safe system of work had been created for the equipment, which had only been in operation for eight days.


The gradient of the ramps were above the manufacturer’s specification and they were not secured to the lorry. As the MEWP, a Spider 1800, was loaded onto the truck it toppled off the ramps on to Paul Williamson.


Company director Kenneth Thelwall, Burleigh Road, Enfield, was charged under section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act, sentenced to 12-months in prison and ordered to pay costs of £4,000. He was also disqualified from being a company director for seven years.


Thorn Warehousing Ltd was charged under Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act was fined £166,000 and ordered to pay £10,400 costs. The company is currently in administration.




From  HSE (hse.gov.uk) (Press releases)