A cut-price roofer who chose to work off a ladder with no scaffold and no fall protection has been ordered to pay £4,000 for his lack of precautions, reported The Construction Index on 10 June 2016.
Reading Magistrates’ Court heard that Terry Colwell, trading as T Colwell Roofing, had been contracted to undertake roof repairs to a property in Bracknell.
Mr Colwell chose to carry out the work without a scaffold, working at heights of up to eight metres with no fall protection, or falling object protection, to protect members of the public. He took on the work for £650. The price of scaffold tower hire would have been between £1400 and £1500. He was fined a total of £2,000 and ordered to pay £1,966 in costs after pleading guilty to a single breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
After the hearing, HSE Inspector John Caboche said: “This was a serious incident that could have ended in tragedy for Mr Colwell, or a member of the public, had he fallen or had a loose roof tile been dislodged during the repairs.
Incident preventable with scaffold tower hire
“The incident was wholly preventable and could have been avoided had Mr Colwell used a scaffold and not undercut the other roofing company and if the operation been better planned and managed.
“It is essential that roof work is carefully assessed by competent persons, with a plan in place to prevent falls of persons and objects. Roof work remains one of the most dangerous activities in the construction sphere.”
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