A roofing firm has been prosecuted after one of its workers was spotted dangerously balancing on a slippery and sloping roof of a semi-detached house in Hyde, Cheshire.
Trading under the name AB Tile Protection, Arthur Boswell from Middlewich was prosecuted by the Health & Safety Executive for failing to ensure scaffolding, edge protection or other safety equipment was in place to stop workers being injured in a fall.
Trafford Magistrates' Court heard that a HSE inspector visited a two storey house on Welch Road in Hyde after receiving a complaint from a concerned member of the public.
When the inspector arrived at the property, he saw a worker standing at the ridge of the roof, more than seven metres above the ground. The employee had been using a power washer to remove moss and other detritus from the roof on 15 September 2010. The inspector issued an immediate prohibition notice stopping the work on the roof.
Speaking after the hearing, Declan Geraghty, the HSE inspector who visited the house in Hyde, said: "There was absolutely nothing in place at the property to stop Mr Boswell's employee falling more than 20 feet to the ground and sustaining serious or fatal injuries.
"At the time of my visit, the employee was using a power washing to clean moss and other detritus from the roof, this would have made the roof slippy and therefore increased the risk of a fall.
"Around a dozen roofers are killed each year in the UK as a result of falls from height, and the majority of these deaths could have been prevented if those carrying out the work had planned the work properly and taken adequate precautions."
Boswell of Booth Lane in Moston, Middlewich, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005. He was fined £260 and ordered to pay £3,275 in costs.