An absence of fall prevention measures such as guardrails, man anchors and edge protection has led to a £1,200 fine with over £1,000 in costs for a Bedford-based roofing contractor.
The defendant was served with a Prohibition Notice after he was seen working on reroofing a motor company’s premises in Bedford’s Manton Lane, without any edge protection or guardrails, or other fall prevention measures like man anchors.
However, instead of complying with the Prohibition Notice, he called in subcontractors to carry on with the work – still without the protection of any fall prevention measures.
The HSE report following his prosecution stated: “An investigation by the HSE into the incident which occurred on October 1st 2015 found that [the defendant] failed to properly assess the risks associated with the work and implement appropriate controls.
“He showed no indication of caring about the safety of his own or the subcontractors’ safety.”
After pleading guilty to breaching Section 33(1)(g) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the defendant was ordered to pay £1,200 fine and £1,018 costs.
The HSE says that a hierarchy of measures should be used when planning work at height, including avoiding, preventing and arresting falls.
Work should be carried out from ground level if possible, to avoid working at altitude; when it is unavoidable, guardrails and other edge protection can help to prevent people and objects from falling over the edge.
Roof walkovers can mark safe routes across weaker structures, or can span the weakest parts of the roof completely, as well as levelling out uneven roofs and slopes.
Finally, if an individual happens to fall, man anchors can prove crucial in tethering them to a fixed point on the roof, preventing them from falling all the way to ground level or on to scaffolding beneath.