Carrying out work without considering safety is a significant breach of the rules and all construction bosses should be particularly wary of this.
One builder in Lancashire has been caught out after a site he was in charge of was passed by an inspector from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The official noticed that two men were working on the roof of a two-storey building where there were no handrails or toe boards.
The fact these features were missing from the roof meant that both Jack Sanderson and his colleague were at risk of falling seven metres to the ground below. A Prohibition Notice was immediately issued by the passing inspector and the men were ordered to come down from the platform.
Despite this warning being handed to the workers, the inspector returned to the site just three hours later and found both men had returned to working at height without adequate safety measures. As a result, Mr Sanderson was prosecuted and appeared in court this week.
He pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and one of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 as a result of ignoring the warning and was fined £2,000.
"Mr Sanderson was given a chance to put things right when he received a Prohibition Notice but he chose to ignore it. He found himself in court as a result," explained HSE inspector David Myrtle.
"Several lives were put at risk because the scaffolding wasn't safe to use, including the lives of another worker and members of the public doing their shopping on the street below."
Mr Myrtle went on to note that the case should remind companies and bosses all over the country that they cannot afford to ignore safety warnings, particularly when they are issued by bodies such as the HSE. The organisation's latest figures show that 38 people were killed in workplaces falls in the UK in 2010-11.