A Middlesex window firm has been fined after showing an ‘appalling’ regard for health and safety and for ignoring previous warnings.
Ideal Glazing (Euro) Ltd dropped part of a window from the third floor of a building in the West End of London onto the street below.
Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard how the company had carried out window installation work at Aldford House, Park Street, London, between 19th and 20th January 2015 that put their workers and members of the public at risk of suffering serious injury or even death.
The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) carried out an investigation into the work after a member of the public provided photos of workers leaning out of window openings eight meters above the ground. They also provided a video showing the workers dropping part of a window which fell to the ground, just missing a nearby pedestrian.
The company had failed to provide equipment such as scaffolding that would have prevented the workers and window falling.
It later emerged that none of the workers had received any formal training and no one was appointed to supervise the work. The risks associated with the work had not been sufficiently assessed. The court heard the company had failed to invest in equipment for working at height and had a health and management system that relied entirely on the company’s managing director Rashinda Joshi, despite his lack of relevant training and experience.
Work at Aldford House was stopped by an HSE prohibition notice. The court heard the company had previously been given advice by HSE in connection with work at height and that an audit by Ideal Glazing’s bank had previously identified a range of relevant health and safety failings. The court heard that neither written warning was heeded by the firm.
Ideal Glazing (Euro) Ltd of 29, The Green, Southall, Middlesex, pleaded guilty to breaches of Regulation 6(3) and 10(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and was fined £36,000 and ordered to pay £1,386 in costs.
HSE inspector Andrew Verrall-Withers said after the hearing: “People should be able to walk down a pavement without being exposed to the risk of a heavy window falling eight-metres onto them.
“The company’s standards were appalling, and this was particularly unacceptable as previous warnings had been blatantly disregarded.
“This is a case where equipment such as scaffolding was not provided. It’s vital that law abiding companies have confidence they will not lose work to others who underquote them because they take shortcuts at the expense of safety.
“Thanks to the member of the public who alerted us, we were able to avoid the workers or any pedestrians being injured or killed. We encourage people to report unsafe work to us so we can act to protect workers and the public.”