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POOR SITE STANDARDS END IN COURT

Contractor fined after failure to heed warnings and poor conditions

 

Scotcare Preservation Ltd of Edinburgh, has been fined £3.6k at Selkirk Sheriff Court after admitting that it failed to provide adequate supervision on a Galashiels construction project in 2008. 

The company also admitted that the site foreman was insufficiently trained; inadequate precautions were provided to prevent falls from height; failing to provide adequate washing facilities and a lack of scaffold inspection. 

The prosecution followed failure to comply with notices served by HSE in August 2008 

HSE Inspector Gordon McLelland said: “It is fortunate there was no accident as a result of the company’s failings. This company had failed to heed previous health and safety advice which is extremely disappointing.  

The risks from working on construction sites, including falls from height, are well known. Falls from height remain the largest cause of fatal and serious injuries in the construction industry.

Companies must ensure that their site management is trained and competent and able to control work on a site.”

 Comment: The fine in this case seems unusually low given the range of breaches involved and previous enforcement notices issued by HSE. The low fine may therefore reflect the means of the defendant company.

Alternatively, some argue that Sheriffs in the borders see offences against the land (poaching fish, stalking deer) to be very much more heinous than offences against the person. In this case there was not even an offence against a person as it was a prosecution without injury!

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