Staff worked on 19ft high roof with no scaffolding or harness.
A demolition company has been fined £25,000 after his employees were found working on a roof without scaffolding.
Stephen Malton, who ran as a sole trader under his company Prodem Demolition, admitted the breach in health and safety procedures by preventing his employees from falling while working at height at Bournemouth Magistrates’ Court.
The court was told how Malton’s workers had been spotted working on a roof at Foxholes Road in Southbourne, between September 15-16 last year, by a neighbour and reported to the Health and Safety Executive.
Inspector Allison Fraser told Wednesday’s hearing there was no scaffolding and some employees even made false claims to the visiting inspector they had been wearing harnesses.
Ms Fraser said there could have been “a significant risk of death” as a result of Malton’s actions.
“Clearly no measures had been put in place by Mr Malton,” she said, adding that he displayed “a wilful blindness” to working at height.
Ms Fraser told the court Malton had previously been presented with prohibition orders to prevent him from working on sites by inspectors in the past.
In 2007 workers were found to be handing tiles to each other while one stood on a roof and the other in the bucket of an excavator being operated by Malton.
In 2012 workers had been walking on open joists two floors up without safety equipment; and in 2014 employees were seen accessing the roof of a building by climbing up and down the raised arm of a digger.
Ms Fraser said: “He has been given numerous opportunities [to improve his work] but continues to apply some poor standards putting his workers at risk of death.”
Mitigating was Scott Stemp who told the court that Malton’s business had seen a poor turnover in recent years with the influx of competitors.
“He faces nine competitors many of whom have economies of scale which he, as a sole trader, does not,” Mr Stemp said, adding that Malton’s financial circumstances are “precarious at best”.