Putting employees in danger is an action that will result in prosecution and subsequent penalties more often than not, as has been proved in the case of Stormguard Roofing.
The company, which is run by Phillip McGinn, was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after it noticed the owner and two of his staff flouting safety regulations. The HSE photographed them retiling a roof in Maghull without any measures in place to stop them falling to the ground below.
During its appearance at South Sefton Magistrates' Court, the company was told it had constructed scaffolding at the front of the house it was working on, but had failed to do so at either the side or back, leaving plenty of room for a potential fall from height.
Upon discovering the unsafe work, the HSE issues a Prohibition Notice that ordered all three men to come down from the roof and give up on working at the site until it had been made safe. Mr McGinn could have erected more scaffolding around the building and kitted out his staff with safety helmets and other equipment.
The businessman has now been fined £3,000 and ordered to pay almost £1,700 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
HSE inspector Jackie Western spoke about the case after the sentence was announced, suggesting Mr McGinn had ignored a number of possible measures to enhance the safety of himself and his employees.
"There were several ways this work could have been carried out safely, including fitting hand rails and toe boards around the edge of the roof to prevent people falling. Mr McGinn put his own life and the lives of two other men at risk by allowing the work to go ahead without suitable safety measures in place," she stated.
Ms Western added that the HSE is grateful to the person who told them about the unsafe work that allowed them to act, possibly preventing an accident.