Demolition Firm Fined for Work at Height Safety Failings

Demolition Firm Fined for Work at Height Safety Failings

A demolition firm has been fined after two workers were filmed risking their lives on the roof of a disused pub.

When the workers were seen removing tiles from the roof without any safety precautions in place, a member of the public photographed the men and sent the pictures to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

An HSE inspector visited the site on the same day the photos were seen and served an immediate enforcement notice.

The notice prohibited any further work at height until safety measures were implemented.

Reading Magistrates Court were told the company had endangered their staff by failing to plan the work to recognised standards. 

The firm was also found to have exposed their workers to the risk of falling by failing to manage or monitor the work.

AG Edwards & Son Demolition Ltd, of Windsor, Berkshire, was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £1,053 in costs after admitting a breach of the Work at Height Regulations.

Although these men were working six metres off the ground they were completely unprotected from the risk of falling. In 2013/14, falls from height were the most common cause of fatal work accidents, accounting for nearly 30% of all fatal injuries to workers.

Any job involving work at height requires a proper risk assessment and monitoring as the work progresses. Employers have a duty to ensure all work at height is properly managed and carried out by people who are trained and competent to do the work.

In this case, basic precautions such as scaffolding, guarded platforms and edge protection were nowhere to be seen. This kind of blatant disregard for staff safety is totally unacceptable and means that anyone falling from the roof of that pub would have been killed or seriously injured.

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