Client stops unsafe work at height

A contractor has been fined for putting workers at risk during roofwork on a premises in Hertfordshire.

The work was stopped by the client after they were notified by the HSE about unsafe work following a site visit. During the visit the HSE found that workers were being put at risk by working on a fragile roof at the premises without sufficient controls and by using inappropriate equipment.

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 13(2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, and Regulation 9 (2) of the Work at Height Regulation 2005 for failing to adequately plan, manage and supervise the work.

Commenting after the hearing the HSE inspector said: “Work on fragile asbestos cement sheet roofs is a high risk activity with a history of fatal injuries. Workers are at risk of falling through the roof or from open edges if protections are not in place.  There is publicly available guidance on the HSE website highlighting the control measures required for carrying out this type of work.”

According to the HSE, falls through fragile surfaces account for 22% of all fall from height fatal injuries in the construction industry.  All roofs should be treated as fragile until a competent person has determined whether it is fragile or not.  If the roof is deemed to be fragile then suitable measures must be undertaken to ensure work can be carried out safely.  Ideally fragile material should be covered and full edge protection provided to prevent access to it. 

We offer a range of products such as the Board-Walk lightweight aluminium walkway which has been designed specifically to allow work to be carried out on fragile roofs such as in this case.  Board-Walk allows access from eaves to ridge whilst spreading the load on support battens and provides the user with a safer working position for short duration work.