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CONTRACTOR FINED FOR WELFARE AND PPE DEFICIENCIES

Lack of competent site management cover led to ‘catalogue of failings’

T Richard Jones (Betws) Ltd has been fined after a routine HSE inspection revealed a number of dangerous failings on a Swansea project in August 2011 whilst the site manager was ‘on holiday’.

Washing facilities were found to be inadequate and protective glasses and gloves were not worn when lime mortar was being used. Use of lime mortar creates a serious risk to health and can lead to the loss of sight, skin burns or dermatitis.

In addition two men were found working at height without measures in place to prevent injury caused by a fall. Swansea Magistrates’ Court heard that the visiting HSE inspectors were informed that the site manager was on holiday.

Workforce put at risk by failure to ensure site managed by competent person

T Richard Jones (Betws) Ltd of Foundry Road, Ammanford, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,658.

HSE Inspector Phil Nicolle said:

“This company put the safety of its own workforce at risk by failing to ensure the site was managed by a competent person, and the catalogue of failings suggested a lack of regard for workers’ health, safety or welfare.

Construction companies have a duty to ensure that their sites are operated in a safe way. Putting these matters right was neither expensive nor technically difficult.

Construction is the country’s biggest industry, but it is also one of the most dangerous. Over the last five years, on average, 61 people have died every year from injuries they receive as a result of construction work, and many more have been injured.”

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