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DEVELOPER FINED AS CDM PRINCIPAL CONTRACTOR

Failure to appoint PC lands CDM client in court with contractor

Property developer Chart Forte Court (West Ealing) Limited (CFC) has been fined over safety offences arising from a hotel refurbishment project in December 2013.

As the project client under CDM 2007 the company contracted LS Scaffolders to erect a scaffold on the site before appointing a Principal Contractor.  In so doing CFC became, by default, responsible for carrying out the Principal Contractor duties.

Hammersmith Magistrates heard how officers from Ealing Council observed unsafe practices during the erection of the scaffolding in November 2013 and asked the workers on site to stop before referring the matter to the HSE who issued a formal prohibition.

Concerns in relation to the stability of the partially completed structure resulted in the scaffolding being dismantled. The two companies were required to satisfy HSE that dismantling could be completed with a safe system of work in place followed by competent scaffolders.

No such reassurance were given to the HSE and LS Scaffolding proceeded to dismantle the scaffold unsafely on a busy high street full of shoppers, triggering members of the public to contact the police to intervene.

No effective management of works

Chart Forte Court (West Ealing) Limited of Northwood pleaded Guilty to Regulation 22(1)(a) of the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2007 and were fined £18,000 with costs of £932 and a victim surcharge of £120.

L S Scaffolding Limited of Vicarage Farm Road, Hounslow pleaded guilty to Regulation 4(1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and were fined £18,000 with costs of £964 and a victim surcharge of £120.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Peter Collingwood said:

“This case shows the need to always properly plan the works and to ensure competent, skilled workers are in place to carry out high risk activities. On this site there was no effective management of the works taking place and unskilled, vulnerable workers were put at serious risk. If works had not been halted by enforcing authorities on three occasions a serious accident could easily have occurred.”

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