Dangerous Demolition

Dangerous demolition put workers in danger

19 February 2015

A demolition firm in Windsor has appeared in court after being caught on camera risking the lives of workers on the roof of a disused pub.

A concerned member of the public contacted the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) with photographs showing workers removing tiles from the roof with no precautions in place to prevent them falling up to six metres to the ground below.

An HSE inspector visited the site in Windsor on 7 January 2014, the same day as seeing the photographs, and served an immediate enforcement notice on AG Edwards & Son Demolition Ltd after viewing the dangers first hand. The notice prohibited any further work at height until adequate safety measures were in place to protect the two workmen on site.

Reading Magistrates’ Court was told today (19 Feb) that AG Edwards & Son had clearly put the two men in danger by failing to plan the removal of the tiles to recognised standards. It also failed to manage or monitor the roof work, leading to the workers being exposed to a totally unnecessary risk of falling.

AG Edwards & Son Demolition Ltd, of Oxford Road, Windsor, Berks, was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £1,053 in costs after admitting a breach of the Work at Height Regulations.

Following the hearing, HSE inspector Dominic Goacher said:

“AG Edwards & Son put the lives at risk of two workers by carrying out this demolition job in a totally unsafe manner. Anyone falling from the roof of that disused pub would likely be killed and that type of disregard for safety is totally unacceptable.

“The company failed to follow basic safety precautions and heed the freely available guidance available. Had the work been planned correctly, suitable protection such as a scaffold, a fully-guarded platform and edge protection would have been in place.”

Notes to Editors:

1. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice; promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice; and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk

2. Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 states: “Where work is carried out at height, every employer shall take suitable and sufficient measures to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, any person falling a distance liable to cause personal injury.”