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Builder Fined After Dangerous Building Work Photographed

Safety Failings On Roof Caught On Camera By HSE Inspector


A builder has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) over safety failings, with photographic evidence produced by one of the body's inspectors proving the case against him.

Mohammed Yasin, trading as Southfield Property Maintenance, was taken to court over images of a semi-detached house in Burnley where he had been contracted to carry out roof work, with a dormer window being fitted ahead of a loft conversion.

As the work was carried out in April 2014, two men outside were spotted completing the task while on the roof, with no scaffolding or any other protective measures in place to prevent them from falling.

This was spotted and photographed by a passing HSE inspector and the photograph was used in evidence against Mr Yasin in the hearing at Burnley Magistrates' Court.

Faced with the damning evidence, Mr Yasin pleaded guilty in the hearing to a breach of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. He was fined £2,000 plus costs of £400.

Speaking after the case, HSE inspector Jacqueline Western remarked that it was "astonishing" Mr Yasin would have work carried out on a roof without proper protection in place.

She added: "While he worked safely inside the house, the lives of two men were being put at risk as they clambered about on the roof. The work simply shouldn’t have been allowed to go ahead without the use of scaffolding or other safety equipment."

The inspector concluded: "It is therefore only luck that no one was injured on this occasion."

Among the provisions of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 are that where such tasks cannot be avoided, steps must be taken to have the right kind of equipment in place to prevent falls.

The regulations also require that employers act to ensure any staff working at height are trained and competent to do so, or supervised by someone who is.

Expert Opinion
Construction is one of the most dangerous industries in the UK with workers regularly involved in accidents that cause severe and life-changing industries. Luckily, in this case, nobody was injured, but the potential for employees to fall while working at height was certainly present.

“We hope this successful HSE prosecution will indicate the need for employers to take their responsibility for the health and safety of their workers seriously. It is vital risk assessments are carried out ahead of tasks carried out at height and that the appropriate safety measures and training is in place to prevent serious injury.”
Stephen Nye, Partner

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