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Firm and roofer fined total of £9,600 after workers spotted working unsafely at height

A West Midlands engineering firm and a Shropshire roofer have been fined a total of £9,600 after a member of the public spotted men working unsafely at height.

The concerned passer-by spotted two workers, both sons of roofer Alan Lane, standing on the pitched roof of Nathan Engineering (Wednesfield) Ltd, on the Neachells Lane Industrial Estate, without any safety measures to prevent or protect them from a fall.

He took photos of the work on 5th February 2013 and contacted the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which carried out an investigation.

Wolverhampton Magistrates’ Court was told on 10th February that Nathan Engineering had employed Alan Lane to overclad its fragile asbestos cement roof with metal sheets.

It provided Mr Lane with materials and a method statement and also supervised the work.

However, no edge protection or other safety equipment was provided and although the sons used a scissor lift to access the roof it did not extend fully so they clambered onto the rails of the lift to cover the remaining distance.

Magistrates were told that although nobody was injured, they were working some six to eight metres above the ground, and that a fall from that distance could have proved fatal.

Alan Lane, of Boundary Close, Claverley, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, was fined £3,200 and ordered to pay costs of £4,771 after admitting to breaching regulation 4(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Nathan Engineering (Wednesfield) Ltd, was fined £6,400 and ordered to pay costs of £9,453 after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the same regulations.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Gareth Langston said: “As the client, Nathan Engineering should have ensured the roof work was properly planned, appropriately supervised and, above all, safe.

“Alan Lane should have taken suitable measures to prevent falls but instead allowed his sons to be put at risk.”

If you have suffered an injury in an accident in the workplace that was not your fault then you could be entitled to compensation.

Contact Lloyd Green Solicitors on 0800 015 5500 for more information.