Workers Lives Put at Risk When Working on Warehouse Roof

Three men were put at extreme risk while working on a warehouse roof trying to repair a leak.  The roof was approximately sixteen metres high.  When working at such heights employees should have safety measures in place to reduce the chances of an accident occurring. In this instance none of the three employees were provided with suitable harnesses and there were no safety measures in use.  There was nothing to stop the men from falling or to reduce the chance of injury if they did fall.

As a result of this severe breach their employer was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive.  Davidson Williams was reported to the HSE by concerned members of the public who witnessed the dangerous working conditions.  They took photos of the workers and sent them directly to the HSE who then investigated the situation.

Risks Increased When Working at Height

The case was heard at Wirral Magistrates court on July 5 2012.  The jury was informed that the roof had around 400 plastic panels which could have broken away if the men had stepped on them.  Initially there were two men working on the roof and they were seen walking close to the edge of the sloping roof as they checked it over for signs of leaking. They were then joined by a third employee as they attempted to repair the damage.

The men were wearing hard hats and had high visibility jackets on, however those protective items would not have helped the men if they had fallen.  They were at risk of falling over the edge and from falling through one of the light panels on the roof and they are lucky not to have been involved in any types of accident.

Safety Measures Were Required

During the roof inspection and repairs the Health and Safety Executive said the men should have had netting installed under the plastic roof panels, had scaffolding erected and worn safety harnesses.  None of those preventions were put in place and therefore their employer was putting their lives in danger.  Davidson Williams pleaded guilty at the Wirral Magistrates Court.  He was fined £3,500 and told to pay £1,500 towards costs for breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

The breached Work at Height Regulation says that employers must put in place suitable preventative measures when employees are working at height to reduce the likelihoods of personal injury in a fall. During 2010-2011 there were 38 deaths from falls at height and over 4000 major injuries.  Employers need to be aware of the laws and ensure they do everything possible to keep their employees safe while they go about their duties.

Don’t Put Your Workers Lives at Risk

Health and safety consultants are able to help employers be aware of their duties and to help put in place health and safety policies.  If you are concerned about the state of your health and safety within your organisation contact the health and safety consultants and request an audit.  The audit is one of the available health and safety services that can highlight errors and be used to improve the safety within any organisation. Call 0800 1488 677 today and book your audit today.

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