Jet washing – don’t try this at home
As we at BM Cleaning Services often point out to trigger-happy customers with their own jet washing machine, DIY can often be DIB – doing it badly. We encounter any number of cases where people have stripped away grouting or mortar and given themselves a hefty bill for re-pointing walls, driveways and paths.
Worse still, the surfaces of brickwork and plaster-work are all too easily stripped away, sometimes doing irreparable damage to houses and gardens.
But sadly, the bad practices do not apply exclusively to over-eager householders. There are rogue traders in this sector too. Here is one cautionary example that has recently reached the courts.
Seen here (as captured in June 2013 by a concerned individual and passed to the Health & Safety Executive) is a worker from IQ Roofing Solutions, jet washing a client’s roof of moss, lichen and debris, but without any safety measures. This of course is extremely dangerous for the workers: and without any spreading of the weight of the men, also damaging to the roof tiles and structure.
The HSE investigation into the incident found that:
- The firm had already been served with a Prohibition Notice in 2011 for unsafe roof work
- The MD of the firm had made a site visit that morning and knew there would be no safety precautions
- There was no Employers’ Liability Insurance in place to protect its workers
The result was that an Inspector came to the house, issued a new Prohibition Notice to stop further work and made the workers come down from the roof. Later there was an appearance and guilty plea at Trafford Magistrates’ Court, and fines and legal costs, for the company and its MD.
To quote the HSE Inspector, Laura Moran:
“Falls from height are responsible for around a third of workplace deaths every year, with 25 people losing their lives in 2012/13 alone. I’d therefore like to thank the member of the public who alerted us…workers could have been badly injured if they had slipped and fallen to the ground below. If workers had been injured then they may not have been able to claim compensation.”
More information on the health and safety aspects can be found here.
Rest assured that when you choose BM Cleaning Services of Edinburgh for your roof or wall jet washing, we will use ‘cherry picker’ lifting platforms or scaffolding for any potentially dangerous working at height: and we hold Employers’ and Public Liability Insurance to protect all parties. So make a safe choice all round…