The HSE handed out 69 enforcement notices in Merseyside in the first ten months of 2009 covering unsafe work at height, compared to 30 during the same period in 2008.
The HSE has released photos showing some of the unsafe work spotted by inspectors. One photo (left) shows a man balancing on a sloping house roof in Neston while he hoses it down. Another (below left) shows a worker crouched on the roof of a semi-detached house in Woolton, about to lift up a stack of tiles.
HSE is concerned that some companies may be trying to save money by allowing employees to work on roofs without scaffolding or other safety equipment. It is launching a joint initiative with Trading Standards to raise awareness about the dangers and of standard of work expected in the industry.
Falls from height are the biggest single cause of workplace deaths in the UK. During 2008/9, 112 workers in Merseyside suffered major injuries from a fall and another 174 had to take at least three days off to recover.
More than 400 roofers across Merseyside are now being contacted and asked to attend a safety awareness event in Wallasey on 23 February, or risk an unannounced visit from an inspector.
Neil Jamieson, a Principal Inspector for HSE in the North West, said: "We're worried that some roofing companies in Merseyside are trying to cut down on costs and undercut each other by not using scaffolding and other safety equipment.
"Falls from height kill dozens of workers every year and seriously injure hundreds more. But the number of deaths will carry on rising if firms don't accept they're putting their workers in danger.
"We will continue to take action against companies that do not take the safety of their workers seriously, and will prosecute those that fail to provide the necessary scaffolding.
"It simply isn't worth companies trying to cut costs if lives are going to be put at risk. And it will cost them time and money in the long run if we decide to take legal action."