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PC AND CONTRACTOR PAY PRICE FOR UNSAFE WORKING

Dangerous working practices continued during ‘snowy’ weather

Principal Contractor MKM Fabrications Ltd and roofing contractor Clad-It Limited have been ordered to pay over £100,000 each after HSE inspectors uncovered dangerous working practices during a factory roof replacement at Delph, near Oldham.

The work involved replacing a northern light roof structure with a modern composite roof and employees from both companies were working alongside one another.

HSE was notified of concerns that workmen were working on the roof with nothing in place to prevent them falling from the edge or through the roof onto workers in the textile factory below.

Investigation by HSE confirmed hazardous the working conditions with workers from both MKM and Clad-It at risk. Inspectors also established that these working practices continued during snowy weather.

The roof included fragile skylights which had not been covered to prevent any person stepping onto them and falling through. In addition, measures were not taken to prevent falling through the large gap created after the skylight had been removed.

Factory employees below were also at risk from being hit by falling tools or debris.

Obvious risk to workers

HSE issues Prohibition Notices stopping the work until a safe method was put into place. MKM Fabrications had responsibility as Principal Contractor and failed to effectively plan the safe completion of the project and put in place measures to prevent anyone falling from or through the roof.

  • MKM Fabrications – of Meek Street, Royton, Oldham pleaded guilty at Manchester Magistrates’ Court to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £66,000 with £3938.38 costs.
  • Clad-It Limited – of Trent Industrial Estate, Duchess Street, Shaw, Oldham pleaded guilty at Manchester Crown Court to breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £66,000 with £3938.38 costs.

HSE inspector Matt Greenly said after the case:

“These two companies failed in their duties to protect the roof workers and anyone working below them in the mill from a foreseeable risk of serious harm.

The risks to workers here were obvious, and neither company thought it necessary to manage the work at height risks properly.”

 

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