Chorley business put workers at risk of 30 foot falls that ‘could have been fatal’

Erin Browne

A Chorley industrial business has been issued with a hefty fine after a court find the company guilty of putting its workers at risk.

Ruttle Plant (Birmingham) Ltd – which this month renamed itself as Birmingham Civils & Construction Ltd – was in the process of building a new aggregate recycling facility at their site at Common Bank Lane, Chorley, when a investigation found the concerning safety issues.

Blackpool Magistrates’ Court heard that on November 17, 2020, a cherry picker was used to apply cladding to the roof and with some areas difficult to reach, employees had to step onto the roof with no edge protection, putting them at risk of a 30ft fall.

READ MORE: Roofing company boss fined after staff allowed to work on roof without scaffolding

Workers had also been on the site for a considerable amount of time without the minimum required welfare facilities available to them, including hand washing areas when the country was in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

The investigation into Ruttle Plant was undertaken by Health and Safety Executive (HSE), a UK government agency responsible for the encouragement, regulation and enforcement of workplace health, safety and welfare.

Findings from the investigation included the expectation that workers had to drive to the company’s head office along an ‘unadopted roadway’ for more than five minutes to use the toilet, even though ample room was available on site for the facilities.

They also found that the workers had been left unsupervised by site management, there was no method statement to follow when they climbed onto the roof and no preventative measures were in place to prevent the risk of a fall from a height.

Ruttle Plant (Birmingham) Ltd pleaded guilty to breaches of work and safety regulations and were fined £66,667.

It was also ordered to pay costs of £1,847.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Christine McGlynn said: “Had a worker fallen off the roof edge, it could have been fatal.

“Employers should ensure that workers are not left to carry out high risk roof work without supervision.

“Work at height and roof work should only be carried out by trained workers, who are being robustly monitored, following proper planning, risk assessment and using suitable equipment. The minimum standards for welfare must also be met.”

LancsLive have approached Ruttle Plant for comment but have received no response.

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https://www.lancs.live/news/lancashire-news/chorley-business-put-workers-risk-23037448

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