Dangerous Demolition Put Workers' Lives At Risk

Company Fined After No Protection Provided For Workers Dismantling Pub Roof

20.02.2015

A Windsor demolition firm has been fined after unsafe working conditions that put lives at risk were caught on camera.

Workers were removing tiles from the roof of a disused pub. Despite working six metres above the ground, no precautions were in place to prevent them from falling.

A member of the public reported the incident to the HSE after photographing the workers. A HSE inspector visited the site the same day in January 2014, serving an immediate enforcement notice that prohibited the work from continuing until safety measures were in place.

Reading Magistrates' Court ruled that AG Edwards & Son had put the two men working on the roof in danger, and had failed to manage or monitor the work safely.

The company was fined £1,000 after admitting a breach of the Work at Height Regulations, and was also ordered to pay £1,053 in costs.

Following the hearing, HSE Inspector Dominic Goacher said: "AG Edwards & Son put the lives at risk of two workers by carrying out this demolition job in a totally unsafe manner.

"Anyone falling from the roof of that disused pub would likely be killed and that type of disregard for safety is totally unacceptable. The company failed to follow basic safety precautions.

"Had the work been planned correctly, suitable protection such as a scaffold, a fully-guarded platform and edge protection would have been in place."

Expert Opinion
Working from height is fraught with risk and we have seen numerous cases in which workers have suffered serious, life-changing injuries as a result of falls that should have been avoided.

"Anyone working at height should always be fully trained, supervised and have access to key protective equipment which minimises the risks that they face. While no one was fortunately injured in this incident, it is still incredibly worrying to see emerge and it is vital that all employers recognise that they simply should not underestimate the potential risks of falls from height."
Stephen Nye, Partner