There has been a recent case of a Loch Fyne restaurant being fined £15,000 after a window cleaner was balancing dangerously on a third floor ledge of one of its buildings without the use of ladders or safety equipment.

The company admitted to allowing a contractor to work at height in an unsafe manner and was ordered to pay costs of £3,023.
The window-cleaner, Wayne Mallon, was self-employed and pleaded guilty to three health and safety charges at Bath Magistrates’ Court. He was fined £2,000.

The health and safety team at Bath and North East Somerset Council, told the court that Loch Fyne had a duty of care to contractors, adding:

“If a suitable risk assessment had been carried out, Mr Mallon would not have endangered himself or others below in the way he did”.

They also said that there were a number of documents in place to make sure a risk assessment was possible but they were not being used and had not been reviewed by the company for more than eight years.

This case highlights the consequences of the poor management of contractors. You should make sure that your contractors such as window cleaners, gas contractors and electricians are approved before they carry out any work for you.

When on site, the contractors should be advised of the fire evacuation procedure and also whether there is any asbestos present. Tell them who to contact and establish what time they are intending to finish work.

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