A SHODDY building firm has been fined after twice being spotted carrying out unsafe work on a Quinton roof just days apart.

An employee of Chohan Builders (West Midlands) Ltd was seen working on the roof of a house in Quinton in June, having used a poorly-built tower scaffold to access the roof.

A prohibition notice was served by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as the access to the scaffolding was unsafe and there was no bracing.

The notice immediately stopped work on the site until the scaffolding was improved and edge protection or another suitable platform was used.

However, Birmingham Magistrates’ Court heard just five days later, on June 18, a worker was spotted on a sloping garage roof with again no control measures in place to prevent the worker from falling.

This dangerous practice led to a second prohibition notice was served on the firm.

Magistrates were told that although nobody was hurt at either location the fall risk was significant, and that allowing near-identical failings less than a week after the first unsafe practice was identified was wholly irresponsible.

Chohan Builders, of West Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £981 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Gareth Langston said: “Work at height continues to be a key area for HSE, mainly because unsafe practices while carrying out this type of work continue to cause death and major injury.

“This company was issued with two prohibition notices for essentially the same thing less than a week apart. Luckily, no-one was hurt, but this kind of repeated behaviour, which shows a wilful ignorance of the dangers of working at height, has to be brought before the court.”

Work at height is the biggest cause of fatal incidents in the workplace in the UK, and the second biggest cause of serious injuries. For further information about working at height, go to www.hse.gov.uk/construction/safetytopics/workingatheight.htm.