Engineer fined after leaky roof left staff ‘wet and cold’

The Health and Safety Executive has prosecuted DG Engineering Co Ltd of Jackson Street, St Helens, for failing to carry out repairs or comply with an Improvement Notice to repair a workshop roof.

The company pleaded guilty to two charges under health and safety legislation and were fined a total of £5,000 and ordered to pay £1,628 costs. The company were also ordered to carry out the repairs within four months.

The court heard that on the 7 June 2007 the HSE received an anonymous complaint about the condition of the roof of the company. A hole in the roof caused by a missing roof panel meant that workers were affected in poor weather conditions as it rained in on them and was very cold.

The site is an engineering workshop where racking for the glass industry is fabricated. The company was charged under Section 2(2)(d) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 that they failed to ensure that the roof of the engineering workshop was kept in a safe condition and failing to comply with an enforcement notice served under Section 21.

The factory owners were asked to write to HSE with their proposed actions but failed to do so. A further complaint was made – the company were contacted and the owners again said they would set out their proposals.

No response was received by HSE and the premises were visited by an inspector who issued an Improvement Notice requiring repairs to be carried out by the 18 January. This notice was not complied with and the company were prosecuted.

Health and Safety Executive Inspector Martin Heywood said: "The staff wanted the roof repaired because they were getting wet and cold, but there was also a risk of further falling debris.

"Health and safety legislation is in place for the safety of employees and this prosecution was only taken after repeated attempts had been made to encourage the company to carry out the repairs. Companies must understand that they cannot ignore the law."

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