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Bury roofer back in the dock again

4 Jun 13 A Bury roofer has appeared in court for risking workers’ lives, despite previously being prosecuted after a man was paralysed in a fall.

Three men were spotted on the roof of a furniture warehouse in Trafford Park without any safety precautions in place
Three men were spotted on the roof of a furniture warehouse in Trafford Park without any safety precautions in place

Tony Massey, who trades as Massey Roofing & Building Contractors, was photographed on 18 October 2012 with two other men sitting on the ridge of the roof of a furniture warehouse in Trafford Park, approximately 10m above the ground,.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuted him for a total lack of fall prevention or fall protection measures.

Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard how Mr Massey had been hired to carry out minor repairs to the roof at the Clivedon Furniture warehouse to fix leaks in the valley between two sloping sections.

He was seen climbing up to the ridge of the roof with a casual labourer and an employee from the furniture warehouse to check for other leaks, but failed to provide any safety equipment.

No risk assessment or method statement was produced in advance of the work, and no precautions were taken to prevent any of the men falling from the edge or through fragile glass skylights which run along almost the entire length of the roof.

The court was told that Mr Massey had been prosecuted before by the HSE after an employee was left paralysed from a fall through a skylight at an industrial unit in Warrington in 2007. Mr Massey had been declared bankrupt at the time of the previous prosecution and received a conditional discharge.

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Tony Massey, 70, of Sunny Bank Road in Bury, pleaded guilty to two breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and one breach of the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969 following the latest incident at the furniture warehouse in Trafford Park.

The charges relate to failing to ensure the safety of workers and failing to have compulsory insurance, which meant the labourer he employed would not have been able to make an insurance claim for compensation if he had been injured. Mr Massey was ordered to carry out 100 hours of community service in the next 12 months, and to pay £2,000 in prosecution costs on 31 May 2013.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Matt Greenly said: "It’s shocking that Mr Massey showed such a reckless attitude to safety at the furniture warehouse in Trafford Park, especially as one of his employees was paralysed in a fall in a previous incident.

"Mr Massey chose to ignore the lessons of his past mistakes and instead allowed himself and two other men to climb onto the ridge of a fragile warehouse roof without a single, basic safety precaution in place, putting his own and their lives at risk.

"Work at height has the potential to be extremely dangerous if it isn’t planned and carried out using appropriate equipment. Mr Massey should have known that more than most but has again found himself in court."

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