Roofers fined £200 each for working dangerously at height

Two self-employed roofers have been fined today (7th June 2010) at Chippenham Magistrates Courts for failing to take appropriate safety precautions when working on a private building in Wiltshire.

Antony Brian Sweet, of Wood Lane, Chippenham, and Christopher Ernest Cole, of Chippenham Road, Langley Burrell, Wiltshire, were prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for working dangerously at height on a residential storage shed in Avon Lane, near Chippenham, Wiltshire, on 18 March 2009.

Roofing work on the steel-framed building was carried out without any safety nets or edge protection or any other kind of safety precaution.

Both defendants admitted breaching Regulation 6 (3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. Antony Sweet was fined £200 and ordered to pay costs of £250 and Christopher Cole was fined £200 and ordered to pay costs of £250.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector, Simon Chilcott, said:

“Falls from height remain the largest cause of fatal and serious injuries in the construction industry. The building in this case was typical of the type regularly erected on local farms and we are very concerned about the levels of poor practice we find when inspecting roof work in agricultural premises.

“We will always seek to take enforcement action where we find poor safety standards in roof work. In this case, not only were the defendants putting themselves at risk but they were gaining an economic advantage over those who work safely.

“As self-employed workers, they had a duty to protect themselves and others while working on this project. They should have ensured that they had planned the work properly, taking into account all the probable risks, and then managed the project correctly.”