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Roofing firm caught on camera risking lives

27 March 2014

A West London roofing company and its director have been prosecuted after workers were photographed on a house roof without any safety measures to stop them falling to the ground below.

The offences came to light when a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspector witnessed the potential dangers to workers on the roof of a property in Kingsbury, Brent, after receiving a complaint. Westminster Magistrates heard on the 26th March that the work was being carried out by Ranjit Roofing Company Ltd, of Ealing, under the control of director Ranjit Singh, from Hounslow.

HSE said the inspector had seen three workers on the roof of the property, on 10 July 2012, but without adequate measures, such as scaffolding or harnesses, to safeguard them from falls. There was also nothing to prevent other building materials or objects from falling, also exposing any workers on the ground to a serious risk of injury.

The court was told that the company was served with an immediate prohibition notice preventing any further work at height at the property until sufficient safety measures had been put in place. Ranjit Roofing Co Ltd, of Speart Lane, Hounslow, was fined £5,000 with £4,137 costs after admitting breaching the Work at Height Regulations. Ranjit Singh, of Ruislip Road, Greenford, Middlesex, was given a two year conditional discharge and ordered to pay full costs of £1,957 for a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 in his capacity as director of the company.

After the hearing, HSE Inspector Jack Wilby said: "The consequences of a fall from height are likely to be life-changing. That is why HSE will not hesitate to take action against companies that fall so lamentably below standards when it comes to protecting their staff. "This is the second prosecution of a roofing company from this part of London for similar safety failings in just a few months. The fact that there was no incident in this case is immaterial – the danger was there and someone could have been injured, or even killed, at any time. "The safety standards required to protect workers against falls from height are readily accessible on HSE’s website.”

A simple guide for contractors who work on roofs is available at: www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/cis60.pdf