Cliff top concerns for worker spotted at Roker

The council worker photographed on the cliff top above the beach at Roker.
The council worker photographed on the cliff top above the beach at Roker.
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This cliff-top grass cutter sparked safety fears with passers-by.

Concerns were raised after the Sunderland City Council worker climbed over railings to work on the area above a rock face and wall with a sheer drop at Roker.

If on occasion, such as in this case, a member of staff becomes over enthusiastic and works outside of those systems of work then we will strongly remind them and all our workers of their responsibilities to their own personal safety and that of others.

Mark Speed, Sunderland City Council’s head of place management

A council official said “safe systems of work” appeared not to have been followed and said the matter would be addressed.

A 58-year-old man was among the dog walkers out along the seafront who saw the dispute began and hit out at the man’s “stupidity.”

The man told the Echo: “I thought to myself: ‘That’s a health and safety issue’

“He’s remonstrated with not only the public but also one of his colleagues who was telling him he was in danger having no harness or a second man tethering him by a rope whist he strims the grass on the wrong side of the safety barriers. He was in danger of slipping on the wet grass and crumbling surface.”

The council’s head of place management Mark Speed said: “The safety of our residents and our workforce is of paramount concern, and we operate under strict safe systems of work that meet the requirements of health and safety legislation.

“If on occasion, such as in this case, a member of staff becomes over enthusiastic and works outside of those systems of work then we will strongly remind them and all our workers of their responsibilities to their own personal safety and that of others.

“We continually monitor and review our health and safety procedures to ensure best practice, unfortunately on this occasion it would appear that the safe systems of work has not been followed and we have taken steps to address this.”