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Any work carried out at a height must be completed 'in a safe manner', according to an expert.

Michael Brown, an inspector for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), made the comment after Tyne and Wear-based roofing company Abercorn Homes was fined for not carrying out such work safely.

The firm's workers were observed carrying out cladding work without the use personal protective equipment and other safety measures.

Discussing the incident, Mr Brown said: 'The risks from work at height on construction sites are well known within the industry and HSE statistics show that for the year 2006/07 falls from height accounted for 23 deaths.

'Abercorn Homes, who was the roofing contractor for the site, should have been well versed in, and implemented, the necessary safety requirements.'

The HSE recently announced it is carrying out spot checks on a number of industrial estates in Lancashire.

Research by the body found that one worker in the region has died in each of the last five years due to industrial-related accidents.

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