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15th August 2014

Cleaning company fined £10K for risky rooftop work

A Stoke-on-Trent cleaning company which uses jet washers to clean roof tiles, has recently been fined £10,000 with costs of £1,277 after a worker was spotted on a roof without any falls protection in place.

A member of the public spotted a man standing on the pitched roof of a domestic property in Cheddleton, Staffordshire, while carrying out the cleaning work on 25 October 2013. The member of the public took photos of the work taking place and contacted the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) who carried out an investigation.

Stafford Magistrates’ Court heard today (6 August) that an inspector from HSE’s Stoke office followed up the member of the public’s report and found that Roof Right UK Ltd routinely arranged for such work to take place without any suitable falls protection being in place.

A Prohibition Notice was issued to Roof Right UK Ltd preventing them from carrying out further work unless suitable controls such as scaffolding were provided.

Roof Right UK Ltd of Festival Park, Stoke-on-Trent, were found guilty in their absence to breaching Regulation 3(1)(b) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, and Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. They were fined £10,000 and were ordered to pay costs of £1,277.

Speaking after the hearing, The HSE inspector involved in the case said:

“I would like to thank the member of the public for bringing this matter to our attention as they have undoubtedly prevented a serious injury.

“It is staggering to me that a company operating in 2013 thought that it was acceptable to allow workers onto pitched property roofs to carry out jet washing work without providing scaffolding or other suitable falls protection measures.

“Roof Right UK Ltd put workers’ lives in danger by allowing them onto a slippery roof without suitable safety measures being in place. They failed to recognise their responsibility to ensure that work at height carried out under their control was done safely.”

Falls from Height are still one of the biggest causes of work related injuries and are responsible for around a third of workplace deaths every year, with 25 people losing their lives in 2012/13.

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