Bolton roofer puts lives at risk

A Bolton roofer has been prosecuted after he put lives at risk on the roof of a fish and chip shop.

The Health & Safety Executive took legal action against Alex Morrisey after he and a labourer were spotted balancing dangerously on the roof of the Kearsley Fish Bar on Manchester Road in the town.

An inspector visited the premises on 30 July 2010 after receiving a report that Morrisey had allowed materials, including bits of tiles and wood, to be dropped onto the pavement below.

When the inspector arrived at the property, he found scaffolding had been put up at the front but there was nothing at the back to stop the workers slipping and falling to the ground below.

Trafford Magistrates' Court was also told on Friday 22 July that Morrisey had not put up any protective mesh guarding to prevent materials falling to the ground, despite members of the public still entering the fish and chip shop during part of the day.

Alex Morrisey admitted two breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 by failing to take action to stop workers being injured in a fall, and by not preventing materials falling to the ground below.

Morrisey, of Trafford Street in Farnworth, was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £800 in prosecution costs.

Ian Betley, HSE inspector, said: "This was a basic error that could have resulted in someone being seriously injured or even killed. Not only did Mr Morrisey put himself in danger, he also risked the life of the labourer he employed.

"He also failed to do anything to prevent members of the public being injured by falling materials. Some of the pieces of wood that were dropped from the scaffolding had nails in them so they could have caused a nasty injury.

"Falls from height are a major cause of workplace deaths and injuries in the UK. It's therefore vital that roofers take the risks seriously."

Last year, the HSE said more than 4,000 employees suffered a major injury as a result of a fall from height at work and 12 were killed.

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