AN EAST LANCASHIRE logistics company has been fined £80,000 after failing to provide fall protection for workers replacing the roof of its premises.

Blackpool Magistrates Court heard how on May 29, Health and Safety Executive inspectors visited Speed Drop Logistics Ltd's warehouse in Blackburn and saw two workers on the roof without any physical protection or any work equipment in place to prevent or minimise the distance of a fall.

Further investigation by HSE also found that the roof of the warehouse at the Furthergate Business Park was fragile and people were at risk of coming through it. Workers had been seen walking across beams to remove asbestos sheets from the roof.

A HSE spokesman said Speed Drop Logistics did not have any measures in place to prevent workers falling from or through the roof from which they could suffer personal injury or even death.

HSE inspectors concluded that the removal of tiles should have been carried out from underneath the roof using a scissor lift or a cherry picker and that scaffold should have been in place to create a barrier against and to minimise the distance of a possible fall.

Speed Drop Logistics Ltd of Manner Sutton Street, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

As well as being fined, the company was ordered to pay prosecuting costs of £1,570.60.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Stuart Hadfield, said: “Falls from height remain one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities in this country and the risks associated with working at height are well known.

"Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standard.”