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SITE MANAGEMENT FAILINGS PUT TO CROWN COURT

Untrained business owner held to account for CDM offence

Richard Morgan, of Davies and Morgan Carpenters, has been prosecuted after a carpenter fell more than 7m from the top of an unsecured ladder on a house refurb project in Wales during August 2011. The workman suffered severe back injuries from which he has yet to fully recover.

Swansea Crown Court heard (23 January) that whilst the fall was not a factor in the sentencing Mr Morgan had:

  • Training – not received training in the management of health and safety on construction sites; 
  • Supervision – not appointed a competent person to manage or supervise the work; and
  • Assessment – not undertaken a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to his employees.

Mr Morgan allowed workmen on site to alter and work on unsafe scaffolding.

Reliance on experience is not enough

Richard Morgan, of Cwmann, Lampeter pleaded guilty to a breach of Regulation 13 (2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. He was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £1,000 in costs.

Regulation 13 (2) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 requires that the contractor must plan, manage and monitor construction work in a way which ensures it is carried out without risks to health and safety.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector, Phil Nicolle, said:

“This case highlights the duty that all construction contractors have to plan, manage and monitor their work activities appropriately.

Small construction companies cannot ignore their responsibility to effectively manage health and safety. Reliance on experience is not enough. Managers and supervisors must be suitably trained to enable them to fulfill their duties and ensure the safety of their workers.

When using scaffolding, contractors must ensure that it has been erected by a competent person and has been inspected prior to use and at least every seven days afterwards. Any modifications to scaffolding must also be undertaken by someone with appropriate training and experience.”

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