A recent case highlights that it is not only the HSE who are watching when contractors implement poor practices at site. In fact, given the huge budget cuts that HSE is enduring at present we are seeing more and more instances when concerned third parties are the ones whistle blowing poor standards of safety management at site.
Remember, and make your staff aware, someone is always watching you…
A Willenhall refurbishment and shop fitting company has been fined for safety failings after instructing two employees to work at height without any protective measures or relevant roofwork training.
The men were working on the roof of a large furniture store in Bridgtown, Cannock, on 26 September 2011 for Fastrac Profiles Limited when they were spotted and photographed by a concerned member of the public.
A complaint was made to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which visited the Green Lane premises and found the workers were not trained for the roof repairs they were undertaking.
Stafford Magistrates’ Court heard today (30 January) that they had been instructed to weld steel to uprights at the apex of a roof. The work was poorly planned and no risk assessment had been carried out. HSE inspectors also found that no fall-prevention measures, such as scaffolding, had been put in place.
Although the failings did not result in a fall or injury, the two employees, plus others working below them, were placed in unnecessary danger.
Fastrac Profiles Limited, of Neptune Industrial Estate, Willenhall, near Wolverhampton, was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay £3,761 in costs after pleading guilty to breaching Regulation 4(1) of the Work of Height Regulations 2005.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Alastair Choudhury said:
“Falls from height are a significant cause of fatalities and serious injuries. The risks involved with work at height are entirely foreseeable, and it is essential that proper planning, assessment and training is undertaken to reduce these risks.
“Those who neglect to do this, like Fastrac Profiles Limited, and who don’t provide a safe system of work put workers at serious risk. They are clearly failing to comply with the required standard.
“I would like to thank the member of the public who brought this to our attention because the situation had the potential to lead to serious or fatal injuries for both men.”
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