Prosecution not all that it appears…

Prodem left carrying the can for third-party contractor.

If you read the contents of the Health and Safety Executive bulletin relating to the “successful” prosecution of Prodem Demolition & Asbestos Ltd, it seems clear that the contractor was in breach of working at height regulations.

But scratch the surface and the picture beneath is somewhat different. The HSE statement reads:

The prosecution related to an investigation on 16 July 2015. Workers were found on a steep roof removing tiles from a domestic property without any form of equipment or protection to prevent them falling off the roof. The risks from such work are well known and should be controlled using simple but effective measures. They had planned to work from a basket of a mobile elevated work platform or cherry picker. However, the company did not follow their plan, putting the workers at significant risk of falling and risk of serious injury.

What that fails to mention is that (a) there was a cherry picker on the site; (b) it was broken down, awaiting repair; (c) the workers that made their way onto the roof were not Prodem employees but were employed by a third party contractor; and (d) they refused to get down from the roof when challenged by the Prodem staff on site.

That third-arty contractor has now vanished, leaving Prodem Demolition and Asbestos Limited with no choice but to plead guilty to Regulation 13(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, receive a fine of £6,000 and have an unbroken 18-year health and safety clean sheet irrevocably tarnished.

You can read the full HSE statement here.