Roofing company fined £20,000 after jetwashing roof with no scaffold

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A specialist roofing contractor that cleaned roofs with jet washing and then painted over the tiles with roof paint has been fined after a health and safety inspector came across two workers jet washing a pitched roof on a house with no scaffolding, protection or harnesses.

Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard that on 5 December 2019, a HSE inspector observed the employees of Improvearoof LLP on the roof of a detached property in Hale Barns using two powerful jet washers unsafely; and without any means of fall protection such as scaffolding or harnesses. The inspector issued a prohibition notice and the work was stopped until suitable measures were put in place.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that poor planning from management led to the failure of the erection of scaffolding prior to the work being carried out.

Improvearoof LLP of Macclesfield Road, Hazel Grove, Stockport pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 4(1) and 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The company was fined £20,000, ordered to pay costs of £2,981.20 and a victim surcharge of £180.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Phil Redman said: “Although the two workers should have raised concerns immediately with site management regarding the lack of scaffolding, it was the responsibility of the company to manage the job safely.

“Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well known. Companies should be aware that unsafe work at height without suitable and sufficient controls in place is not acceptable and HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards.”