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PRICE RISES FOR THOSE IGNORING HSE NOTICES

Contractor given jail term after scaffolding prohibition issued

An employer from Greater Manchester has been fined for exposing workers to dangerous work at height conditions.

Manchester Magistrates’ Court heard that unsafe scaffolding was erected on all three sides of a semi-detached property in Bury. There were missing guard rails / boards and unsafe base materials used to support scaffolding thereby putting people at risk from a fall from height.

HSE conducted an unannounced inspection in July 2015 following a complaint from a member of the public. There was no work ongoing at the time of the visit but Mr Ahmed Ali was identified as the person in control of the property.

HSE issued a Prohibition Notice and a further visit was carried out in August 2015 when it was found that work was still in progress on the scaffolding in breach of the HSE prohibition.

  • Mr. Ahmed Ali – of Middleton Road, Oldham pleaded guilty to breaching Section 33 (1) (g) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Regulation 4 (1) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

He was sentenced to twenty-six weeks imprisonment, suspended for twelve months, and ordered to pay costs of £10,938. HSE inspector David Norton said after the hearing:

“Work at Height incidents are responsible for approximately half of all work at place deaths and the largest number of serious injuries. Work at Height must be managed effectively and those who breach HSE enforcement notices are likely to be prosecuted.”

Furniture manufacturer pays over £100k

Meanwhile, Manchester and Salford Magistrates have heard that a manufacturing company failed to comply with several HSE Improvement Notices concerning training and assessment of access to the dangerous parts of machinery.

Wicks Office Furniture Ltd premises were visited by HSE in March 2016 and the regulator found a failure to ensure machinery guards were provided and used properly with a risk of employees gaining access to the dangerous parts of machines. Five Improvement Notices were served by HSE.

The court also heard that HSE had inspected the company three years before in 2013 when Improvement Notices were served regarding workplace transport and machinery guarding.

  • Wicks Office Furniture Ltd – of Little Hulton, Manchester pleaded guilty to two breaches of Section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The company also pleaded guilty of breaching Regulation 11 (1) of the Provision and Use of Workplace Equipment Regulations 1998. Wicks was fined £99,000 and ordered to pay £11,623.65.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Jennifer French said:

“Wicks Office Furniture Ltd have fallen far short of what the law requires and put their staff at considerable risk from the use of unguarded machinery. Further, they failed to comply with improvement notices aimed at protecting people from risks to health which were not properly assessed or controlled at the company.”

 

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