Roof repair company prosecuted

A repair and maintenance company has been fined £150k with costs of over £5,000 after an employee fell 2m while working on a roof.

The roofer and a colleague were using an unsecured ladder to access a roof to repair leaks.  As the employee accessed the roof, the ladder slipped, and he fell approximately 2m. As a result of the fall the employee sustained contusion and bruising to the head and hearing damage.

The subsequent investigation by the HSE found that the assessment of the work prior to it being carried out was inadequate, there was no system to ensure the correct equipment was being used to work at height and there was no supervision on site.  In addition to the roof being accessed via an unsecured ladder, there was no edge protection on the roof to protect the workers while carrying out the repairs. 

The company pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of Work at Height Regulations 2005 which requires an employer to ensure that work at height is properly planned, appropriately supervised and carried out in a safe manner.

Following the case, the HSE inspector said: “Roof work requires a high level of planning, and supervision should be in place to ensure it is carried out safely. This incident so easily could have been fatal; work at height is a well-documented, well-regulated risk and there is no excuse for getting it wrong”.

This case is a perfect example of what happens when work at height is not planned properly. If a risk assessment of the work had been carried out by a competent person, they would  have been able to identify what measures and equipment was needed to carry the work out safely. 

When work needs to be carried out at the roofline level, our Roofline System provides a continuous, fully guarded working platform which complies with the edge protection requirements of EN13374.  If ladders are to be used, then there is  a range of simple accessories such as Ladder Spurs which are designed to allow work off ladders to be carried out safely.  Ladder Spurs increase the base width of a ladder to prevent outward slip such as in this case.

For more information on the Easi-Dec platform, or any of our safe access platforms, call our product experts on 01767 691812 or use our online contact form.