Work at height: £150k fine for firm that got it wrong

A repair and maintenance company has been fined after an employee fell from two metres while working on a roof.

Fragile roofThe roofer was working with a colleague to repair a leaky roof in Seaton Avenue, Felixstowe on 7 September 2016. There was no edge protection around the roof and access to the roof was via an unsecured ladder. As the roofer accessed the ladder it slipped, causing him to fall from a height of approximately two metres. The worker sustained contusion and bruising to his head along with hearing damage.

The HSE’s investigation found the assessment of the work prior to the arrival of the roofers on site was inadequate. There was neither a system for checking the correct equipment for work at height was being used, nor for supervision of the work on site.

RFT Repairs Limited of King Street, Norwich pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £150,000 with costs of £5,391.76.

HSE inspector Prentiss Clarke-Jones, speaking after the sentencing said: “Roof work requires a high level of planning, and supervision should be in place to ensure it is carried out safely.

“This incident so easily could have been fatal; work at height is a well-documented, well-regulated risk and there is no excuse for getting it wrong”.