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Roofers warned to keep a close eye on health and safety
With the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) maintaining its intensive inspection initiative, the country’s leading developer of building software, HBXL is calling on all roofers to keep a constant vigilance on their health and safety obligations.
Falls from height remain the most common cause of workplace fatality. In 2008/09 there were 35 fatalities, 4654 major injuries and a further 7065 injuries that caused the injured person to be off work for over 3 days or more, due to a fall from height.
Facts like these has therefore made the need to comply with the latest regulations and make sure that building sites are safe from the outset of paramount importance.
It’s also why, according to Anthony Botibol, marketing manager at HBXL, roofers should consider the latest version of HBXL’s Health & Safety Xpert (version 4) to help them stay on top of all health and safety issues.
Anthony said: “The risks of working at height are well known across the roofing sector and yet more people die in this manner than from any other construction activity.
“All businesses have a duty of care to keep their employees and the public safe on site as well as legal requirements to undertake certain paperwork. Non-compliance can attract massive fines as well as facing site shut down, criminal prosecutions and in some cases prison sentences if you are proved to be negligible.
“What the latest figures from the HSE really brings home the importance to have the correct documentation in place. So what we have done is improve the software so that roofers will easily be able to produce the right paper work for the job in hand.”
A recent example that demonstrates the importance for good health and safety practice can be shown when a Hampshire roofing boss was fined after workers were spotted removing roof tiles without scaffolding or safety barriers to prevent them falling.
It followed witness reports of workmen removing roof tiles from the house in an unsafe manner and alerted HSE.
One man was reportedly standing on the wet roof with no safety barriers or scaffolding, another was in the raised bucket of a digger taking tiles from the roof, while a third was on top of a long ladder throwing wall tiles down to ground level.
Following a HSE investigation the company involved pleaded guilty to breaching regulation 25(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,497.
Anthony added: “Roofing firms should have safe systems in place to protect employees and sub-contractors and as is shown in this case HSE will not hesitate to prosecute companies that puts workers or members of the public at risk.
“By carrying out a thorough risk assessment and making sure the right equipment was available and used properly would have prevented this company from being fined so heavily.
“What Health & Safety Xpert does is encourage a more active approach to health and safety.”
Saving users huge amounts of time, it quickly guides them through the crucial paper work that’s required under current UK law, including The Working at Height Regulations (WAHR) which came into force in April 2005, the Health & Safety At Work Act 1974, Construction Design Management (CDM) Regulations 2007 and The Contractors Health & Safetly Assessment Scheme (CHAS).
Anthony said: “Using Health & Safety Xpert will ensure you comply with the law and most importantly it help provide protection to your employees. It can also strengthen your chances of winning public sector contracts as part of Framework Agreements and PAS91.
“Health & Safety Xpert simplifies the process of producing the right documents. All users have to do is tell the software what they are building and it will present the hazards, suggest control measures to put in place and produce the paperwork accordingly.
“All roofers should look out for hazards and take time to control the risks as best they can. Health & Safety Xpert goes a long way to help manage such risks and help reduce the number of accidents.”
For further information on Health & Safety Xpert V.4 or any HBXL product please call T: 0845 1234 065 or visit the web site www.hbxl.co.uk