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    BUILDERS EXPOSED PUBLIC TO EXCAVATION RISK

    Dangerous excavation and poorly planned lifting fined

    A construction firm has been fined £20,000 after failing to safeguard the public and workers from an unsafe excavation, lifting operations and inadequate welfare facilities for workers on site in June 2016.

    Greater Manchester Magistrates heard how the contractor was undertaking the refurbishment of a domestic property in Salford. HSE visited the project and the inspector issued two prohibition notices regarding the unsupported deep excavation in the front garden.

    There were insufficient controls to prevent members of the public accessing the hazard. The inspector also found that a steel beam was being lifted unsafely. In addition, there were no toilet and washing facilities for workers on the site.

    The company failed to comply with an improvement notice that was issued following HSE visit in that suitable and sufficient welfare facilities were not provided.

    Action against those below “required standards”

    The HSE investigation found that Toft Construction Ltd did not properly plan the lifting operations or carry it out safely. The company failed to take suitable and sufficient measures to prevent falls into the excavation and to fence it off to prevent risks to the public.

    • Toft Construction Limited – of Cheadle Hume, Cheshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 2(1), 3(1) and Section 33(1) (g) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. The company also pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 15(11) and Regulation 2 of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.

    The company was fined £20,000 with £5,176.90 costs.

    HSE inspector David Argument said after the hearing:

    “These risks could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices. Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the required standards”.

     

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