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Cleaning company fined for risky rooftop work – 6th August 2014

A Stoke-on-Trent company which uses jet washers to clean roof tiles have been fined after a worker was spotted on a roof without any falls protection in place.
A member of the public spotted a man standing on a pitched roof of a domestic property in Chedderton in Staffordshire while carrying out the cleaning work. The Health and Safety Executive were contacted and prosecuted the employer. A prohibition notice was issued to the employer preventing them from carrying out further work unless suitable controls such as scaffolding were provided.
The company were found guilty in their absence to breaching Regulation 3 (1) (b) of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulation 1999 and Regulation 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulation 2005.
The case highlights the duty on employers to ensure that when employees have been asked to work at height they are provided with suitable fall protection. In this case a simple scaffold or mobile platform would have been sufficient and relatively cheap for the employer to comply with their statutory obligations.
Our Matthew Winder has dealt with many cases over 20 years of practice of employers failing to carry out their statutory duties in protecting employees working from height. The consequences for clients have been severe. Injuries resulting from falling from height in our Mr Winder’s experience are generally fractures of the spine and serious head injuries leaving the employees with permanent disability. It is most important if you are an employer that you comply with your statutory obligations to protect your employees when they are working from height. If this case effects you in the work place and you require advice do not hesitate to contact our Mr Winder who is based at the Lancaster, Barrow and Kendal offices of Clarkson Hirst Solicitors Limited.

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