Roofing firm failed the work at height test

Published:  18 September, 2014

A West London roofing firm found itself in court after it allowed employees to work on roofs with no safety measures to protect them from falls.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted HR Roofing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court yesterday (17 September), after seeing the dangerous practices in operation at two sites – one in Harrow, the other in Ealing.

Magistrates were told that an inspector from HSE came across the first instance in March 2013 and identified workers re-roofing a property in Glebe Avenue, Harrow. There was no scaffold or any of the standard safety measures in place. HSE took immediate action against HR Roofing by serving a prohibition notice, halting the work at height until fall prevention safeguards were installed.

Just two months later in May, the same dangers were spotted by HSE when the firm was at a property in Bilton Road, Perivale, Ealing. Another prohibition notice was served and an investigation started by HSE. In both cases, the health and safety body decided that there was an extreme risk gap.

HR Roofing was fined a total of £10,000 and ordered to pay £1,654 in costs after admitting two breaches of the Work at Height Regulations.

After the case, HSE inspector Pete Collingwood said: “Working at height carries substantial risk, yet no measures had been put in place to try to prevent falls. This example of bad practice was not an isolated event by HR Roofing, but was repeated two months after the first incident.

“The firm exposed workers to unacceptable risks of injury and even death. It then chose to reject any lessons it could have learned from the first case and repeated the offence.”