Landlords, Agents and Builders take care!

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Recent news report:-

A Mid-Wales estate agent has been fined after an elderly maintenance contractor was killed when he fell from a roof.

Roger Jary, 79, from Welshpool was a self-employed contractor of Morris, Marshall & Poole estate agents, and was carrying out minor repairs to the carport and gutter of a rented bungalow on Little Henfaes Drive in the town.

Chester Crown Court heard that, on 10 August 2010, a plastic roof panel Jary was moving across gave way and he fell around two metres from the roof of the carport to the ground below.

A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found Morris, Marshall & Poole contracted Jary to carry out the repair work, but failed to ensure the work was properly planned and organised, or the contractor was competent to carry out the work.

Morris, Marshall & Poole of Broad Street, Welshpool, who managed the property on behalf of the landlord, were prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). They pleaded guilty to breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and were fined £75,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £11,153.95.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Chris Wilcox said: “Roger Jary might be alive today if simple safety measures had been put in place. Morris, Marshall & Poole had a duty to ensure the safety of those they employed - whether working directly for them or not.

“If your business in managing properties then you must ensure that anyone you engage to maintain those properties is competent and carries out their work safely to ensure their safety and that of others.”
 
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Presumably this applies to private landlords too?

So for example, if I owned a property I let out and subsequently employed a roofer (say out of the yellow pages) to say replace a length of guttering, how would I go about ensuring he was competent for the job? Would I write to him and ask him or what? How do I absolve myself effectively?
 
Presumably this applies to private landlords too?

So for example, if I owned a property I let out and subsequently employed a roofer (say out of the yellow pages) to say replace a length of guttering, how would I go about ensuring he was competent for the job? Would I write to him and ask him or what? How do I absolve myself effectively?

Get it in writing. What he plans on doing, how he plans to do it, with what equipment, and what training he's had.

Obviously a fair few will tell you to sod off. :mrgreen:
 
You don't freddie.

I guess what you have to do is employ a firm that takes care of all the H&S stuff. They deal with risk assessment, insurances, legalities, scaffold etc etc, then you pay out a couple of grand in order to replace the £10 piece of gutter.

Don't you just love lawyers and the HSE.

High vis To$$ers.
 
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I don't think that there is anything new in this case, as there has always been a duty for a business to engage competent persons. It is the level of duty which can vary

In this case, the managing agents (Morris, Marshall & Poole) would seem to have been engaged by the landlord specifically to manage the property - including repairs, and would therefore have been deemed a specialist company, which implies a higher duty of care to their contractors.

If it were just a landlord instructing the unfortunate sub-contractor, or a lay person, then the duty may be lower

Engaging a competent person can mean many things. At it simplest. taking up references or using pre-vetted firms (ie those on Constructionline or members of Trustmark) could be all that is necessary to prove that reasonable steps were taken to check a contractors competency

There is no need to go to the extreme of risk assessments and method statements for every job or for every circumstance
 
I for one wouldn't want to be doing anything on a roof at age 79.
Anyway, if it were up to the H&SE nowt would get done in this country at all. Even the Fire Brigade have to undertake a risk assessment for every emergency they turn out to.
 
What was he doing walking on a plastic roof panel. Thats what the problem seems to be.
 

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