Man spared jail for carrying out unsafe work on his own home

A man has been given a suspended sentence after he carried out unsafe work on an extension to his own home in Manchester.

The man engaged operatives to help him build an extension to the property on Kings Crescent in Old Trafford – which was in addition to replacing the roof on the existing semi-detached house.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) served enforcement notices in relation to work being carried out from an unsafe scaffold at the property in August 2020. The scaffold was subsequently dismantled, and work put on hold.

However, in November 2021 the same inspector found that the man was in control of and instructing operatives to re-roof his property. The work was being carried out without any form of fixed scaffolding or other equally effective measures to prevent the risk of a fall from height from the unprotected two storey roof.

A further prohibition notice was issued to prevent the unsafe work, but the man continued to instruct, supervise and assist it. This went on for several weeks and included work during the hours of darkness and in breach of the prohibition notice while continuing to put the lives of the workers at risk.

A fixed safe scaffold could and should have been erected around the perimeter of the roof, but the man chose to put cost cutting at the expense of safety to ensure the replacement roof to his property was completed.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the man, from Manchester, chose to ignore the issue of an enforcement notice and continue to instruct operatives to work on the roof without any form of fall protection under the hours of darkness.

He pleaded guilty to breaching regulations 4(1) and 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, and section 33 1(g) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. He was given a custodial sentence of 12 months, but this was suspended for 18 months. During that time he must also complete 180 hours of unpaid work. He must also pay £6,450 in costs at a hearing at Manchester Magistrates’ Court on 18 June 2024.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Phil Redman said: “This was a serious breach of the law, and it is fortunate nobody was seriously injured or killed as a result of [the man] choosing to ignore the repeated requests of the inspector to provide a safe means for work from height.

“The case highlights the importance of following industry guidance by ensuring a suitable and sufficient safe scaffold was provided by a competent contractor.”

The prosecution was brought by HSE enforcement lawyers James Towey and Sam Crockett.

Source: HSE


At MBO Safety Services Ltd one of the many training courses that we offer is Work at Height which is ideal for those working at height on equipment such as scaffolding as part of construction work. To coincide with this we also offer Harness Training which is suitable for anyone required to supervise, manage or conduct work from height. Please get in touch if you would like to find out more, we would be happy to help.

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