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Engineering Company fined after safety failing puts workers at risk

UTS Engineering Ltd has been in court for safety failings which exposed its employees to serious risks of injury from a fall.

What happened?

The Durham-based firm was undertaking extensive repairs to their roof, and work had already been carried out to inspect and re-felt the canteen roof and clear the gutters.

After receiving a complaint, the HSE carried out an investigation which found that the roof work was being carried out in an unsafe manner, and employees were at risk of falling from unprotected edges or through fragile roof materials.

What was the outcome?

Following the investigation, the company was prosecuted for safety breaches, and issued with a Prohibition Notice halting further work at height until satisfactory fall protection measures were put in place.

A court heard that, despite the roof containing Georgian-wired glass roof lights and other fragile materials, the firm hadn’t produced a safe method for employees to carry out the work that needed to be done.

Additionally, workers should have been protected by guard rails to prevent the risk of falling from the edge, and safety netting should have been placed underneath the roof in case of an accident.

UTS pleaded guilty of breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005, and was fined a total of £24,000 and ordered to pay £1,146.80 in costs.

Fiona McGarry, HSE Inspector said:

“While it is fortunate that no-one was injured during these extensive
works, employees working on the roof were exposed
unnecessarily to high levels of risk.

“Death and serious injury following falls from the edge of roofs or through
fragile materials are all too common and proper planning is vital
to ensure the work is carried out safely and the correct
precautions are identified and used.”

If you have been affected by an accident at work, and you would like expert advice, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com
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