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HOMES BUILDER FAILED ON BASICS

Insecure site and lack of basic workforce welfare punished in court

Lancashire-based Paddle Homes (Paddle Ltd T/A) has been fined for a series of safety breaches, including insecure fence and failing to provide adequate welfare facilities for their workers.

The prosecution follows an unannounced visit by HSE Inspectors to Vale of Glamorgan site in December 2008.

Missing fencing,  unsuitable toilets and unheated welfare accomodation found  

The visiting HSE Inspector found inadequate or missing fencing to keep the public away from construction work.

There were also unsuitable sanitary and other welfare facilities for workers despite the sub-zero temperatures. The portable toilet was not kept clean and there were no washing facilities. 

The workforce were expected to “eat, get changed and shelter in a dirty, unheated caravan”.

Paddle Limited, based Blackburn, pleaded guilty to three breaches of the CDM Regulations 2007 and were ordered to pay over £23k in fines and prosecution costs at Barry Magistrates’ Court. 

Defendant previously issued with prohibition and improvement notices 

HSE state that “Inspectors throughout the country have found such poor working conditions that multiple prohibition and Improvement notices have been issued to Paddle Ltd since 2005″.

These were for dangerous scaffolding, poor site welfare, unprotected excavations and failures to secure and fence their sites.

Inspector Liam Osborne said: “Paddle Ltd left their workers with the most appalling working conditions – the sort of things you might have expected to see in the 19th Century not the 21st Century.”

“During my inspection, children were playing nearby and could easily have just walked onto it, which at the time was full of construction machinery and excavations.”

“What makes this case all the more disappointing is that Paddle Ltd had received a considerable amount of advice from HSE inspectors up and down the country.

It appears the company has failed to heed HSE’s advice, which is why they have ended up in front of the courts.”

CDM Regulations 2007 the principle contractor to prepare a Construction Phase Plan covering site security and welfare matters. A suitable plan was no prepared although a plan was submit to HSE at a late date.

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