Nottingham Magistrates' Court yesterday (3 November 2010) fined roofing contractors SPV Road Carpet Ltd after the men were found risking their lives at the store on the Lenton industrial estate on 20 May 2009.
SPV employee Lewis Male was also prosecuted for failing to take reasonable care of himself and others. The court heard that Mr Male was replacing sky lights with two others on the roof when he was spotted by a passing HSE inspector.
The inspector noticed that the workers were using no safety equipment, edge protection or harnesses to prevent falls. It was discovered this unsafe system of work had continued over a period of three weeks, risking injury to the roofers and to employees and customers inside the store.
SPV Road Carpet Ltd, of Aldridge, Walsall pleaded guilty to breaching section 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 for failing to protect their own employees and members of the public in the store at the time. It was fined £14,000 with £6,659 costs.
Mr Male, of Parsons Cross, Sheffield, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 7 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was fined £480 and ordered to pay costs of £650.
HSE inspector Frances Bailey said: "Roofing work requires careful planning and assessment of the risks involved. In this case employees had been working for three weeks without the correct equipment to protect them from falls and without adequate supervision.
"Fortunately no one was injured on this occasion, but both employees and members of the public inside the store below were at risk.
"Falls from height are the biggest cause of workplace deaths and it's crucial that employers make sure work is properly planned, appropriately supervised and that sufficient measures are put in place to protect staff and members of the public from the risks."