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  3. Stoke firm fined over fall safety fears

A roof cleaning firm based in Stoke, Staffordshire, has been prosecuted and fined by the Health and Safety Executive after someone spotted a worker cleaning a roof with no fall protection.

Taking photos of the incident, the concerned citizen reported the firm after the worker was seen jet-washing a tiled roof in October last year. The worker was not wearing any personal protective equipment (PPE).

As well as the lack of a PPE harness, there were no barriers, platforms or other items in place offering protection to the worker or passers-by.

Upon receiving the whistleblower’s report and photos, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched an investigation and a prohibition notice for the immediate cessation of work was enforced.

The results of that investigation were reported to Stafford Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard that Roof Right UK Ltd routinely carried out its contracts in a similar manner and breached two regulations. The firm was fined a sum of £10,000 in absentia and told to pay court costs amounting to £1,277.

Delighted with the news, the HSE inspector on the case, Andrew Bowker, commented after the verdict:

“It is staggering to me that a company operating in 2013 thought that it was acceptable to allow workers onto pitched property roofs to carry out jet washing work without providing scaffolding or other suitable falls protection measures.”

He went on to say it was unacceptable that Roof Right UK did not recognise its responsibility and risked people's lives in such a way.

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