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    IGNORING HSE ADVICE PENALISED BY LARGE FINE

    Contractor fined over £50k for persistent WAH and welfare failings

    A contractor carrying out refurbishment and basement extension work has been prosecuted after HSE identified a series of serious safety breaches during inspections by the regulator in South West London in 2017.

    Westminster Magistrates heard that the project was inspected by HSE in March 2017 when numerous areas of the site lacked edge protection to prevent falls, including a 4m drop into the basement from the site entrance area.

    The welfare facilities were far below the legally required standard. The WC lacked a cistern to allow flushing and the washing arrangements consisted of a cold water outdoor tap and bucket. No soap or towels were provided.

    UNSAFE RAMPS USED FOR ACCESS

    A Prohibition Notice was served but further HSE inspections in April and May 2017 found new work at height issues requiring work to be halted on both occasions until the site was made safe.

    An improvement notice was also served concerning the inadequate welfare facilities but the company breached the notice as the improvements made were insufficient.

    Relied on manager with no formal H&S training

    HSE had previously inspected projects controlled by the company in 2015 and 2016 when improvement notices were issued relating to welfare facilities and formal letters highlighting work at height risks and giving advice.

    • PVAD Limited – of Hammersmith, London pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 6(3) of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, Regulation 15(11) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM) and Section 33(1)(g) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £51,334 and ordered to pay £1,525.50 in costs.

    HSE inspector Adam Thompson commented after the hearing:

    “After the March 2017 inspection PVAD Limited were provided with clear written advice to help them make improvements. They failed to take note of this and continued to rely on a site manager with no formal health and safety training.

    On the three occasions the site was visited the workers were at such risk of falling that all work had to halt. It was just good fortune that no one was killed or seriously injured at the site.

    The standards were particularly inexcusable as the company had received clear warnings in the past. It speaks volumes that, even after being issued with three welfare improvement notices at other sites, they provided their workers at the new site with a non-flushing WC and an outside cold water tap and a bucket as washing facilities”.

     

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