Window company penalised for working at height without protection
A Middlesex window manufacture and installation company has been fined after being found guilty of placing the lives of its employees at risk and posing a threat to the general public through its practices.
In January 2015, Ideal Glazing (Euro) Ltd had been working on Park Street in London, installing windows. A member of the public filmed the workers carrying out work at a height of eight meters without scaffolding or any other safety measures. The film also included footage of a section of window narrowly missing a pedestrian as it dropped to the ground below.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) conducted an investigation into the complaint. HSE discovered that an adequate risk assessment had not been carried out, a supervisor for the work had not been appointed, the workers had not received formal training and suitable PPE and other safety equipment had not been provided.
A Prohibition Notice was served on the company, which halted the window installation and prevented any further risk to the public or the company's workers. The company was found guilty by Westminster Magistrates' Court, ordered to pay costs of £1,386 and fined £36,000. Speaking after the hearing, Andrew Verrall-Withers, HSE inspector, said:
“This is a case where equipment such as scaffolding was not provided. It's vital that law abiding companies have confidence they will not lose work to others who under quote them because they take shortcuts at the expense of safety.”
All companies have a responsibility to maintain the safety of their workforce and members of the public.