An Edgware contractor has been fined after the routine inspection of a construction site discovered dangerous working conditions.

Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Inspectors saw contractors working some three metres above ground without measures in place to prevent them from falling. A Prohibition Notice was immediately served on the Principal Contractor, preventing further work at height until adequate safeguards were in place.

In a prosecution brought by HSE, Chelmsford Magistrates' Court heard that a follow-up inspection of the site later the same day, found working at height was still continuing, but no measures had been taken to comply with the Prohibition Notice.

The contractor pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and Section 33(1)(g) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £2,000, and ordered to pay costs of £1,500.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector, David King, said:

"Last year 50 construction workers died following incidents on sites, with work at height being the largest factor in this. Therefore it is essential that everybody involved in the construction industry takes appropriate action to manage work at height safely, and other major hazards on their site, to prevent needless injury and loss of life."